President Uhuru Kenyatta flagged off the first batch of the armoured personnel carriers (APCs) for the Kenya Police Service at the General Service Unit headquarters in Ruaraka, Nairobi.
He said the government had embarked on a major modernization of the Kenya Police Service to improve efficiency of the force in the fight against crime in the country, especially terrorism.
Speaking during the occasion, President Kenyatta said the current enhancement of police capacity to combat crime is the greatest modernisation programme in 20 years.
He said equipment of the police service will enable the force to protect Kenyans and their property from the many security threats facing the country.
The President pointed out that the government has enhanced transport for the Kenya Police Service and provided 2,220 vehicles through lease arrangement thus improving police visibility on the ground.
The President pointed out that a command and control centre has been established and will be commissioned soon.
He assured the security forces that the Government will continue to enhance police capacity to fight all forms of crime in the country.
“The Police last received such equipped in 1995. Those ones will help the police respond quickly and more effectively to the security challenges of the time,” President Kenyatta said.
He cited the security threats in the country as incitement of animosity, cattle rustling, religious extremism, economic saboteurs, theft of public funds, and security personnel using their “uniforms and positions to harass and fleece the same Kenyans they swore to protect”.
President Kenyatta challenged senior police officers and others in positions of authority to deal firmly with the country’s enemies to ensure that peace prevailed.
The President said the few bad elements in the police service who solicit bribes were giving the force a bad name. He added that this makes the public have wrong perception of the whole service.
“As my Government works to improve your welfare, I also want your commitment to end real and perceived corrupt practices. The corrupt elements are within all the ranks,” said the President.
President Kenyatta said the corrupt must be removed.
On welfare, President Kenyatta said the government was committed to improving police salaries, allowances and accommodation to enable then serve Kenyans effectively.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said the newly acquired equipment was “a game changer in the fight against crime”.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet thanked the President for his commitment to mordernisation of the police service. He pointed out that the government was not only improving the hardware but also the welfare of the officers.
“As we confront the enemy, we now have protection,” he said.