Police to hire 5,000 after 2-year break

The National Police Service Commission (NPSC) on Thursday approved the hiring of 5,000 officers after a two-year break.

The Jubilee government, which in its early years in office ramped up police numbers, has since 2017 not admitted fresh recruits to Kiganjo Training College.

Reforms, budget cuts and the merging of Kenya Police Service (KPS) with the Administration Police (AP) are among the reasons that stalled the recruitment.

Last year’s merger meant APs had to be taken through the police curriculum, since the doctrines of KPS and APs are different.

Some 24,000 officers have since ditched the jungle green AP uniform for the Persian blue outfit and placed under the command of ward commanders.

101,000 police officers

Despite the merger, the overall number of officers has declined due to natural attrition, resignations and retirement.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics says the country has just above 101,000 police officers, down from 105,000 in 2019.

This is a significant reduction, considering the fact that the government was at one time so keen on improving the police-citizen ratio that it was recruiting up to 10,000 every year.

The United Nations says for a country to be policed effectively, there should be one officer for every 400 citizens.

With 101,000 officers, Kenya’s ratio is one police officer for every 465 citizens. Adding 5,000 more will reduce it to 447.

“The NPSC has approved a request by the Inspector-General of Police to recruit 5,000 constables and 150 professional cadet officers,” the commission said in a statement.

“The approval was granted during a full NPSC meeting attended by all commissioners, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho and the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti.”

The NPS has been given Sh95.5 billion in the 2020/21 budget.

The recruits will undergo a nine-month training and not six as was
the case.

It is, however, expected that there will be a slight change in the qualifications for recruits and the training.

This is meant to ensure the new officers adopt to the changing crime trends.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i recently said consultations were ongoing on how the service would adopt new qualifications for police officers.

“Training of the cadet officers will inject new capacities and energy in the manner in which we lead the service,” Dr Matiang’i said in July.

“We are going to recruit police officers in a new hiring regime. We will make the announcement once the consultations are complete. The new criteria for recruiting police officers may include a change in basic qualifications for entry.”

Professional Qualification

  • To join the police service as a constable under the current requirements, one should have scored a minimum mean grade of D Plain in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination.

  • The person should also be of a particular height, physically fit and have a good medical record.

  • Successful female recruits should not be pregnant.

  • To join the service as a cadet, one must have a professional qualification in a certain field, especially a degree and must not be above a certain age.

    Nation - Friday, October 02/2020.


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