The government will now bond new police recruits for at least 10 years, during which they cannot leave the service.
Mr Murshid Mohamed, a member of the National Police Service Commission (NPSC), said the new rule, which will be applied to 10,000 police officers expected to be recruited before the next elections, is aimed at ensuring Kenya is closer to meeting the international ratio of one officer for every 400 citizens.
Introducing a lock-in clause would help control the number of officers who leave for greener pastures after the government has spent huge amounts of money training them.
NPSC Chairman Johnston Kavuludi announced the recruitment drive in Nairobi on Tuesday.
“The urgency to undertake this process cannot be overemphasised as we are well aware of the important role the police play in the security of our country. The successful passing out of the officers will, no doubt, bring the ratio of the police to the public closer to the internationally recognised standard,” he said.
The recruitment will be conducted at 331 centres across the country on April 4.
Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet said individuals interested in joining the service must be ready to encounter gruelling challenges.
“They must know what they are preparing themselves for. The police job is primarily meant to ensure safety for the public because there are some people bent on breaking the law. There are risks involved (for police officers),” he said.
The IG also warned those who may engage in corruption with the aim of influencing the selection of candidates.
“In the past, this process was associated with unethical behaviour. We will not tolerate that from any quarters,” said Mr Boinnet.