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Proposal floated to end GSU autonomy

Wednesday January 22 2020

GSU, General Service Unit

General Service Unit (GSU) officers in a past operation. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JOSEPH NDUNDA
By JOSEPH NDUNDA
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The General Service Unit (GSU) will cease to be an autonomous unit within the National Police Service (NPS) following proposals to place it under the Administration Police Service (APS) in a new structure.

The NPS has prepared a proposal to move all the formed-up units to the APS as it consolidates its strength in the war on terrorism. The Kenya Police Service will not have a single formed-up unit.

The GSU will continue discharging its security to the President, the Deputy President, State houses and lodges, securing selected foreign airlines, provision of security to vital installations and strategic points.

Other GSU duties include controlling rioting mobs and prevention of civil disturbance during street protests, anti-poaching operations and escort duties, prevention of banditry and cattle rustling, and counterterrorism activities and insurgencies.

The GSU commandant will be reporting to the deputy Inspector-General in charge of APS, unlike currently, where he reports to the DIG in charge of the Kenya Police Service.

Other units moved from KPS to APS include Tourist Police Unit, Railway Police Unit and the Presidential Escort Unit.

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Also moved to APS are Kenya Airports Police Unit, Diplomatic Police Unit, Port Police Unit and the Anti-Stock Theft Unit which was placed under the APS command in July last year.

Public safety

Through the policy, the NPS has established a VIP protection unit under the APS to offer protection services to selected VIPs.

“Each Service was assigned specific and distinct functions. KPS was tasked to offer public safety and security duties and consequently absorbed over 24,000 APS officers who were performing such duties at the region, county, sub-county, ward, post and outpost level,” a policy document seen by the Nation states.

The units will join the Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit, Border Police Unit, Rapid Deployment Unit and the Security of Government Unit, which have been the major units within the APS. NPS will also rename its colleges that are yet to be renamed.