A solution must be found soon for the integrity issues that undermine the image of the National Police Service, President Uhuru Kenyatta said Friday when he presided over the passing-out parade of 3,933 new officers.
The President called on the leadership of the National Police Service to deal firmly with integrity problems within the Service to regain its glory and muster public trust.
“I want to challenge the leadership of the Service to aggressively deal with integrity aspects of the reform agenda. However much we invest in the Service, it will count for little in the eyes of Kenyans if the failures and shortcomings in integrity that still trouble the Service are not handled decisively” said the President when he spoke at the fabled Kenya Police College, in Kiganjo, Nyeri County.
The President said even though reform measures have been successfully implemented with the police Service, the integrity issue sticks out and threatens to negate all gains made so far.
“While I appreciate all the work that has been done, I think it is fair to say that the Police Service has yet to solve these problems. They had better be solved,and quickly,” said the President.
Internal Security Cabinet Secretary Maj Gen (Rtd) Joseph Nkaissery urged the new officers and even those who have been in the service to have integrity and moral courage to become better law enforcers.
“Anybody putting on the police uniform must portray that quality of doing what is right even when no one is watching,” said Nkaissery.
The Cabinet Secretary said he and the leadership of the police will deliver on the promise to reform the National Police Service and make it a shining example.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett also focused on the issue of integrity when he spoke saying that he will do everything to ensure the police force regains its glory.
“I urge all of you to steer clear of evils such as corruption as we are determined to restore the the rightful glory of the police force,” said Mr Boinett.
President Kenyatta said the Government has dedicated more resources to modernise and equip the police force to better serve Kenyans.
The President said improvement can already be seen in improvements in mobility, communication and surveillance systems, protective armour and air support capacity among many other initiatives.
“That improvement will be sustained in months to come: not only will the Service be allocated even more resources,” said the President.
He said the Government will continue recruiting more officers, so that Kenya can come close to United Nations recommended ratio of one police officer to 450 members of the public.
President Kenyatta congratulated the new officers for successfully completing the rigorous training regime and urged them to serve with patriotism
“As you go out to serve, I ask you all to discharge your duties with patriotism, devotion and commitment,” said the President.
“This is no job for the faint hearted: the security of our people and their property is now in your hands.
That is a heavy responsibility. Only the most patriotic and the most diligent of our young people can bear it.”
The President presented awards to four recruits for outstanding performance during the training. Ewoton Tatan was awarded for being the best all round male recruit while Susan Mureithi became the best all round female recruits.
Denilson Abuga was the best recruit in academics. Monica Mukulu was given an award for the best rifle shot scoring 48 out a possible 50 points, the second year in a row a female officer has won that award.
Addressing wananchi during stop-overs after leaving the Kenya Police College, President Kenyatta said more police recruits will be admitted to the college during the next intake to increase police numbers.
“We will recruit 10,000 officers this time to ensure there are enough officers to protect Kenyans,” said the President when he addressed wananchi at Kiganjo.
The President urged Kenyans to learn to live in harmony the same way disciplined officers live like brothers and sisters despite their different backgrounds.
The President also addressed wananchi at another stopover at Chaka.