Interior CS Fred Matiangi has asked police bosses to create a cordial relationship with Junior officers and encourage them to work properly.
Matiangi said regional police commanders should sit down with officers below them and listen to them in order to achieve effective police service.
“We can only eradicate highly sophisticated criminals when officers work together,” he said.
The CS was addressing regional commanders at the Loresho Police training school on Monday.
“We cannot entirely rely on arms to maintain law and order. We can only succeed if we work with communities. As regional police commanders, you must manage your people well. Don’t boss them around,” he said.
There have been cases where officers kill themselves out of frustrations.
In 2017 the National Police Service Commission said it will investigate why police officers are committing suicide.
“We hear some of our police officers who commit suicide in different areas… it is us who must sit down with them and encourage them..mentor them,” Matiang’i said.
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“… let us know these people. They may go through ordinary challenges…you find an officer is fighting with the girlfriend and thereby committing suicide,” Matiang’i said.
He asked the commanders to have a talk with the officers and get to know what ails them either at work or at home.
“If these young people disagree with their partners, they kill themselves… talk to them and show them a way out, tell them they can always find somebody who loves them than the current person they have,” he said.
Noting that counselling of individuals may not be enough, Matiangi said bosses should approach the junior officers without a ‘rank’ attitude.
“Let us be frank, even if we bring counselling to them it will not be enough, we have to support them.. Let us work for our people.. supervise the officers, sit down with your officers,” he said.
“Let us not pull our ranks every time. You hear others saying that ooh I can’t sit down with these junior people… It is your jurisdiction. Walk there and find out how they are working.”
Matiangi further noted the police service will carry out a competition aimed at cleaning police stations.
“The competition will involve stations from the county, regional and national level. We identify the best police station in the country, which is friendly and clean,” he said.
“Who told us that we cannot have clean police stations? When Kenyans go to the stations they want to go in a clean place.”
He said some commanders and senior officers do not treat the stations as places where Kenyans receive services.
“I have been to numerous stations and in one instance you find an OCS brushing his teeth there and it is 9 am in the morning,” he said.
“In another police station in Western Kenya, we could not find an OCPD. The OCS looked everywhere including under the table and he was nowhere to be seen. I had to leave the place without seeing him.”
Matiang’i said the regional commanders are the nexus between government plans, vision and the thinking in the headquarters and the practical reality in the field.
“You are the conveyors of our plans and our desires to our police officers who are working out there,” he told them.