State to assign five police officers to chiefs in latest shake up

Chiefs will now be assigned at least five police officers and will be required to keep work plans and a register of services as the government considers empowering and professionalising grassroots administrators.

The new changes announced by the  Interior Cabinet Secretary Professor Kithure Kindiki are intended to make the 3950 chiefs and their 9043 assistants more effective but also more accountable to the public and are set to begin early next year.

“We are working towards reorganising ourselves between the National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) and the police to ensure, as it was before, that every chief has police officers attached to them to enable them be able to enforce law and order.”

After paying an impromptu visit to the Mtwapa Location chief’s office in Kilifi County, the CS directed the State Department of Interior to work with the National Police Service to implement the proposal by January next year.

He assuaged fears that putting police under the command of chiefs would return the country to the era of all-powerful and notorious provincial administrators, saying the government would strike a delicate balance between power and responsibilities.

“We are going to improve their working environment to make sure they deliver security and are able to articulate government policy more clearly and more effectively by supporting them as they deliver their services. We are going to stand with them and work with them to ensure that we deliver security.”

As part of the reforms, the officers will be required to prominently display the service charter outside their offices, according to the CS, which will be gradually escalated to the senior levels of the National Administrative Officers (NGAOs), including district and county commissioners. The service charter, work plans, and service register will be standardised and mandatory. The CS stated that this was also done to instill competence and discourage administrators from engaging in partisan politics.

The funds to build modern offices will be sourced from public coffers including the Constituency Development Fund.
“We want to ensure our NGAOs have the right environment to attend to citizens because they are the government’s eyes on the ground,” the CS said.

On security in the coast region, the CS revealed that the government was working closely with community policing groups to identify and isolate criminal gangs and networks behind drugs and violence.

He said the government was working on an intelligent vehicle and traffic monitoring policy in Mombasa and other parts of the country that will reduce the number of roadblocks manned by the police.

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