President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced new measures that will help the police intensify the war on organised crime and terrorism.
The National Police Service will be equipped with Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) to help them perform their duties better without depending on the military, the President announced Saturday.
The President said there were also plans to provide Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAPs) to officers deployed in volatile areas.
MRAPs are armoured vehicles designed to withstand improvised explosive device (IED) attacks.
The plan to equip the police with such protective vehicles is a first in the history of the country and comes in the wake of increased terror threats.
Several police officers, especially in the North Eastern region, have been killed through ambushes by the Al-Shabaab who use landmines, improvised explosive devices and firearms.
“It is noteworthy that terrorist attacks exposed a number of operational gaps in the ability of our security services to respond effectively.
“Some of these included a glaring lack of proper liaison among the various security services which compromised efficiency in the sharing of crucial information,” he said.
He said Joint Operation Centres were established with a multi-agency representation for the improvement of information-sharing and coordination amongst the various actors in the security sector in order to mitigate the situation.
President Kenyatta also expressed the government’s plan to modernise the Police Airwing to improve the country’s air support capacity.
“Two MI 17 Helicopter troop carriers have been taken in for complete overhaul, while a new helicopter has been procured, and will be arriving in the country in the next few weeks.
“By June this year, we shall have two new helicopters, and three refurbished units brought back to near-new condition. This will sharply improve our ability to quickly move troops to any trouble spot,” Mr Kenyatta said.
Recently, 2,220 assorted vehicles have been provided through a lease arrangement which, the President said, has more than doubled police visibility on the ground.
Mr Kenyatta spoke at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Training School where he closed the Inspector General conference that brought together regional coordinators, county and formation commanders, and other senior officers.
The meeting is convened every year to review challenges and achievements in the security sector in the preceding year and put in place strategies for the succeeding year.
He assured the police officers that the government was working towards improving their housing, their insurance cover and remuneration.
During the function, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet warned leaders against making inflammatory statements that could fuel ethnic animosity or incite the public.