Top marks for brave mother in police
Posted Wednesday, June 13 2012 at 20:00
In a force that is heavily male dominated, few people would imagine that a woman police officer would gain the courage to lead colleagues in fighting off gun brandishing thieves.
But on the noon of August 9 last year, one policewoman did. Upon receiving information that a group of four heavily armed gunmen were approaching Kyumbi area along Mombasa Road, Corporal Immaculate Hassango dared them.
She quickly mobilised her officers and erected a roadblock, about seven kilometres from Kyumbi town.
Soon after, there was a fierce exchange of fire between the officers and the criminal suspects, resulting in the killing of all four.
Three rifles and the stolen motor vehicle were recovered, together with a machine gun (heavy barrel) loaded with seven rounds of ammunition.
Also recovered was an AK47 rifle loaded with 12 rounds of ammunition and a Ceska pistol with six rounds of ammunition, among other weapons.
For her courage, Corp Hassango and her four colleagues won the Bravery Awards issued by Police Commissioner Mathews Iteere.
She was the only woman who was awarded the Bravery Award among all 13 officers. “I feel great,” Corp Hassango said of the recognition. “Little did I know I’d be awarded for what I did.”
When she received the information of the gangsters, she was a bit anxious, she said. But as the team’s commander she felt duty-bound to act swiftly.
“I acted as was expected of any police officer, but could not imagine that I would be feted with the bravery award,” she said.
She remembers how she quickly mobilised and briefed her colleagues Corp Robinson Oloo Ojwang, Const Julius Ndaka Kikului, and Const Ginna Girra Ailia to respond to the operation.
“We swung into action when the suspects’ car defied our orders to stop,” said the mother of one. The vehicle was sprayed with bullets with caution and precision. No officer sustained any injury.
She praised her colleagues who, despite the imminent danger, acted fast as per the briefing she had given them. The criminals were ruthless, but she could not imagine letting them pass her area of operation.
“It would have been a failure on my part as the commander had they escaped with all those firearms and the stolen motor vehicle,” she said.
The four were among the 13 officers who were awarded the Bravery Awards at the CID Training School. Mr Iteere praised the officers for their bravery in execution of their duties.
“They risked their lives for the sake of all Kenyans and that is a gesture worth appreciating,” he said. During the Tuesday occasion, another 48 officers were awarded the Wound Stripe Award, usually given to officers injured in the course of their duty.