You will soon have police officers as neighbours following a change of policy in the National Police Service, which will see the abolition of mandatory and free housing for junior officers.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday directed the National Treasury to initiate the termination of all leases with landlords of police estates as the government plans to start paying housing allowances to the officers.
Officers will have to pay rent and service their utilities like any other tenant under the landlord agreement when they start to get their house allowances.
Similarly, the government will demolish dilapidated houses in police lines and officers who will occupy houses constructed under the police housing project will pay rent.
“All officers in shared houses, or those housed in structures in police lines, shall vacate them within 90 days of the date of the allowances, and integrate themselves in their communities and neighbourhoods. Separate shift quarters for male and female officers on duty and those on standby for duty will be provided,” President Kenyatta announced.
Officers’ allowances will commensurate the market rates and ranks, but this will be implemented after thorough consultations with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, the Treasury and other stakeholders.
Under the new arrangement, the lowest ranking police office, a constable working in Nairobi, will receive a house allowance of Sh18,124 per month.
Those living in Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Meru and Uasin Gishu will receive Sh13,124 to pay for their rent. The rest in the remaining counties will receive Sh8,124.
President Kenyatta announced the new plan during a national security conference at the Kenya School of Government in Kabete.
The changes are part of the reforms put in place following his directive to Inspector General Joseph Boinnet and Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to come up with new strategies.
Apart from changes in the police housing, the President announced the integration of some functions of the National Police Service (NPS) and the Administration Police Service. He also abolished some of the senior command positions in the two services.
The President directed Dr Matiang'í and Mr Boinnet to eliminate duplication in reporting functions to reorganise the police service command structure in conformity with NPS Act 2011.
DUPLICATION OF ROLES
The deputy inspector general in-charge of Kenya Police Service will now focus on public safety and security while his Administration Police service counterpart will focus on protective and border security, as well as combating cattle rusting and banditry.
The function of the Director of Criminal Investigations remains unchanged, that is, focusing on criminal investigations.
The President also eliminated duplication by integrating 39,680 Kenya Police officers and 24,572 Administration Police officers to form the General-Duty Police Officers under the command of the Deputy Inspector-General, Kenya Police Service.
“This will leave us a total of 64,252 general-duty police. Given the unified command we can expect better security for Kenyans,” President Kenyatta said.
He directed refresher training offered to all new general-duty police officers to instil a common understanding of work.
They will also have new uniforms; deep blue for work, navy blue ceremonial outfit and a deep blue working dress jacket.
The President also changed the Rural Border Patrol Unit to the Border Police Unit, and doubled its officers to 6,000 officers. These officers will work under the command of the APS Deputy Inspector-General.
“To enhance protection of critical national infrastructure and support national government functions, the Security of Government Buildings Units (SGB) and Critical Infrastructure Protection Unit (CIPU) units will be integrated, and their strength raised from 4,773 to 8,280 officers under the command of the Deputy Inspector-General, APS,” the President said.
The Kenya Police Service Anti-Stock Theft Units, and the Administration Police Stock Theft Prevention Units have also been integrated, and their number raised to 5,000. They will work under the command of Deputy Inspector-General, APS.
The Head of State also scrapped a total of 12 senior positions both in the APS and KPS, introducing just four positions in the command structure. All police ward, posts and outposts formerly under APS shall fall under General Duty (GD) Police
He removed the position of the APS Regional Commander, KPS Regional Commander, DCI Regional Commander, County Coordinating Commander, KPS County Commander, APS County Commander; DCI County Commander, APS Sub County Commander, DCI Sub County Commander, KPS Officer Commanding Police Divisions; District Administration Police Commander and the APS ward commander.
The President further announced the alignment of the current administrative boundaries to deliver a unified command, which will be headed by one regional police commander, one county police commander and a sub county police commander and officer commanding police Station who will also be known as a ward commander.
He will be in-charge of the police station and its posts and patrol bases.
“The comprehensive changes we are ushering today are meant to deepen the transformation of the police, and, indeed, our overall national security,” said the president.