The National Police Service Commission (NPSC) says the Inspector General has already identified a few isolated cases during the enforcement of new COVID-A9 measures where police discipline was compromised and excessive use of force applied and have taken the initial step to interdict the officers and recommended their dismissal and dishonorable discharge from the service.
While issuing a statement on police disciplinary control, welfare and safety of police officers as they enforce new laws in response to COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday, NPSC Chairperson Eliud Kinuthia said the commission has approved the dismissals and will not hesitate to act on all police officers who conduct themselves unprofessionally at any time.
He noted that like the rest of the world, the new work environment has put police profession to greater test of balancing between protecting civil liberties of citizens, public safety and security, and welfare and safety of individual police officers against COVID-19 pandemic.
” For the last 1 month since 13th March 2020 when the Government announced new laws prohibiting all public gatherings, work/stay at home orders, social distancing and subsequent orders on curfew, quarantine and contact tracing in response to COVID-19 pandemic, police officers/ employees of the commission have been involved in a very extraneous enforcement work not anticipated in normal police operations.” He said.
Kinuthua noted that the police exposure to real threat of contracting COVID 19 infection as they provide the much needed security and enforcement services which the country cannot do without in the current situation is now a concern of the National Police Service Commission.
“As the employer we have a duty to ensure all our employees enjoy safe work environment, motivation and are continuously committed to delivery of services with utmost exercise of police discipline.” He added.
And in order to mininize the risk of officers contracting COVID-19 infection while on duty and to ensure the welfare and safety of all police officers in Kenya, he said the commission has initiated a few measures.
“All the Commissioners in National Police Service Commission including the IG NPS and DIGs have made voluntary personal contribution of Ksh 650,000 towards the COVID 19 Fund. The Commission appeals to all Police Officers and civilian staff to voluntary join the Commissioners in making individual donations towards the COVID 19 Fund.” said the Chairperson
Adding that they have also initiated negotiation with Cabinet Committee on National Development Implementation and Communication (NDICC) and Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to have all police officers considered for uniform extraneous allowance for all ranks and additional responsibility allowance for commanders commencing March 2020 up to the appropriate time when the Country returns to normal enforcement of law and order.
The commission has also initiated a proposal to have sufficient budgetary allocation for police officers to be supplied with adequate sanitizers and Personal Protective Equipment’s in all the works stations including temporary road blocks and formed units in operation areas to protect them from the risk of contracting COVID-19 infection.
He appealed to the public and good citizens of Kenya to be law abiding during this hard period of COVID-19 pandemic and avoid unnecessary confrontation with Police Officers and not to fabricate untrue allegations against Police Officers.
The commission he said has noted some incidences where the police officers have have been unfairly accused for wrongs they have not committed.