The issue: Rejuvenating police command.
Our view: Police needs to re-direct its expenditure to core policing functions such as operations, investigations and intelligence gathering.
After Parliament vetted and approved the appointment of Mr Martin Okoth-Ochola as Inspector General of Police and Brig Sabiiti Muzeyi as his deputy, police now needs to hit the ground running.
Logistics aside, there is no reason for escalation of cases of murder, kidnap, and abetting of crime by officers in uniform. Police had at one time enjoyed a certain level of public confidence, which perception needs to be reciprocated by the institution’s dealing with crime and criminals.
And to achieve this, the new IGP, a lawyer by profession, and Brig Muzeyi need to rejuvenate command and control systems in the Force for effective policing. The vertical and horizontal flow of information between top officers and across to men and women on the ground should take priority.
As a matter of urgency, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations needs to get back to its feet. This may involve disbanding units that duplicate the role of investigations. It’s time to harmonise all units dealing with specialised sections which should be brought under central command. This will help to streamline operations and curtail wasteful expenditure.
If it is proved that the disbandment of Special Branch was a mistake, then this unit needs to be resurrected to ensure effective flow of intelligence and even investigate and bring rogue and errant officers to book.
It’s increasingly becoming difficult for police to work without the military, so the two security agencies need to work together to re-establish the Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force (JATT) as it were before. The new police management has to re-establish Community Liaison Officers who dotted police stations and bridged the gap between the wananchi and police. They received and acted on issues affecting the public in time to restore public confidence.
Police also needs to re-introduce the system of profiling of criminals both those in prison and after prison to ensure criminals are not recycled through the judicial system.
The disbanding of the emergency lines, the 999 system could be seen as a mistake, which is a central communication system useful for receiving information in real time.
Above all, police needs to re-direct its expenditure to core policing functions such as operations, investigations and intelligence gathering. To achieve this, management needs to cut back on its many police directorates which attract unnecessary expenditures.
And, the new administration will have to re-align officers to fit their capabilities and competences for the better functioning of the Force and non-police personnel that hang around police stations should vacate as these serve to defeat justice and aid officers in the commission of crime.