The Police Department Needs Serious Developments
Reading an article by the Daily Nation on Wednesday that only six Police helicopters are fit for flying sent me thinking about the whole Police Force industry. Apart from the air transport sector being in a sick condition, almost all the other departments are also ailing.
To start with, the transport sector is on the death bed. The vehicles used by the Police are in very poor state and unroadworthy. It is so saddening that the people who are supposed to check conditions of vehicles using our roads are driving in old and worn out vehicles. The Traffic department which patrol unit is a bad joke. The type of vehicles they use cannot be used by any sane individual who is sensitive of the security of road users. There is very serious need to improve on the transport system in the police force.
Secondly, the number of vehicles and motor cycles allocated to this sensitive department are wanting and of poor performance. It beats logic for a police officer to be driving in a low performance vehicle while most traffic rules offenders and criminals such as thugs and carjackers ride in high performance vehicles. The Government should supply the police with vehicles with high performance and increase their number as well as those of motor cycles to help them keep up with any eventuality.
Thirdly, the emergency response team of the police department has been disabled and it’s almost dysfunctional. Things like crime response unit or fire response unit have with time have been rendered non-operational. When an incident like the Moi Avenue blast happen, the police force emergency response team has poor coordination of its activities and the biggest part of the rescue is done by humanitarian organizations like the Red cross. There is need to upgrade the emergency response fast enough.
Far from this, there is another sensitive sector that has been neglected; the communication sector. Communication with the public is one way the police department can embrace in reinforcing security but this has for ages been ignored even in the 21st century when communication has gone all round. The Police need to set up effective communication system and embrace the use of social media in its activities. This will go a long way in ensuring more information is exchanged between them and the public.
On yet another sector, we – the public – forget that police officers are human beings like every one of us and blame them for acting in some inhumane manners. What I have learnt that the environment they live in at times causes them so much stress that they bring it with them to work places. The condition of most of the housing provided to the police officers is wanting. The houses are in deplorable conditions yet these are the people we expect to see the conditions of our houses and act accordingly. The Government should demolish these old structures and the sub-standards ones and set up good buildings for the officers.
Finally, the Government should apply the separation of powers in the forces. It becomes a burden when a traffic officer is the same person handling the roles of the common officer or that of the investigative officers or anti-crime officers. What the government should do is demarcate the boundaries of these departments to ensure that they run their duties in clear cut lines without interference apart from being bound by the collective responsibilities. The traffic department, the anti-stock theft department and all other departments should work independently.
The Government should run with speed before it is too late.
By Koome Kimonye, Nairobi
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