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Kavuludi denies claims of plans to merge AP, regular police arms

By BENSON AMADALA  
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The main arms of the National Police Service will continue to run under one head but with distinct operational mandates.

On Tuesday, National Police Service Commission (NPSC) sought to clarify earlier claims that the Administration Police (AP) and the Regular Police divisions will be merged.

Instead, NPSC chairman Johnston Kavuludi said the imminent restructuring will ensure their operations do not conflict or duplicate one another.

This, Mr Kavuludi said, will ensure consistency in the command structure of the AP and Regular police divisions.

He spoke on Tuesday after meeting police chiefs in western region, where he assured them there will be no dissolution of either arms of the police.

The NPSC says it was forced to clarify the claims after misleading reports that the divisions — traditionally trained differently — would be merged.

OVERLAP FUNCTIONS

The commission says it has to tinker with the way the divisions are run to eliminate overlap of functions, which has occasionally led to a clash of the two sides.

“If approved, then we will function in such a manner as to create greater efficiency and effectiveness in the service without duplication, overlaps and without the necessity for people to be ambivalent about who provides what services,” Mr Kavuludi said.

“As law enforcers, you should be able to offer solutions to security challenges communities face instead of compounding the insecurity problems in places you serve,” he said.

The AP are traditionally assigned duties of guarding government installations and guarding VIPs. The regular police are, on the other hand, the most visible law enforcers when dealing with civilians.

They are further divided into various units, each handling specific areas.

Under the 2010 Constitution, the two divisions were brought together under the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) as the overall head, departing from the previous arrangement where the AP were led by a Commandant while the Regular police were led by the Commissioner of Police. Under the new system, each division is led by a Deputy IGP.

But that has not stopped occasional conflicts between the two sides. The law enforcers have occasionally been embroiled in nasty scenes.

For example, they accuse each other of abetting the cover-up of contraband goods and illicit brews being sneaked into the local market from neighbouring Uganda.

In fact, this conflict has been blamed for the escalation of insecurity in parts of the country.

Mr Kavuludi has further pledged that the government was doing everything possible to improve the living conditions of police officers by providing them with decent houses.

GOOD IMAGE

He said that after the restructuring is completed, the report will be handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta for “consideration”.

But Mr Kavuludi warned the officers to project a good image of the service by maintaining discipline and avoiding corrupt practices.

Mr Kavuludi led officers to discuss the proposed regulations and policies on training, housing, counselling and welfare at the meeting held at the Magharibi Hall at the former provincial headquarters.

He said the draft will be published and launched by the end of next month after NPSC receives views from all regions.