More than 1,000 Nairobi County Inspection Service officers will be trained by the National Police Service as administrators seek to redress the unit’s bad reputation.
Better known as kanjo askaris officers are infamous for their ruthless treatment of residents accused of various offenses.
The four-month training is scheduled to begin this month at Kiganjo Police Training College and Administrative Police Training College, Embakasi.
Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) Director of Enforcement Services Mark Leleruk said the training was aimed at a friendly enforcement service.
“We want to introduce a new culture of integrity and professionalism with career courses like non-commissioned officers and development courses for corporals and sergeants,” said Dr Leleruk, seconded from the administrative police.
There are a total of 1,600 askaris in the city county.
The image of the inspection is that of old vans with rusty grilles sometimes moving against the flow of traffic in pursuit of traders accused of unauthorized access.
This will change with the launch of the training, said Dr Leleruk.
“We will also have postgraduate inspection courses. We intend to rebrand and get rid of the culture associated with corruption and brutality, especially when it comes to hawkers, ”he added.
The training will also involve control officers and traffic marshals.
At the end of the exercise, the new screening officers as well as the retrained inspection staff will be tasked with patrolling the streets of the city to rid them of hawkers, mechanics, drug dealers and henchmen who invaded public toilets.
“Better equipped uniformed police officers are expected to make city streets safer for motorists and pedestrians,” he said.
Dr Leleruk said the process of reforming the inspection services has already started with the issuance of new uniforms as well as high-frequency communication gadgets to improve and coordinate their operations.
Officers are also required to give daily morning briefings to their supervisors, allowing them to monitor their location while patrolling.
Already, 300 law enforcement officers who had taken on secondary duties in various markets have been removed and reassigned.
Dr Leleruk added that the process of recruiting a new face of the Nairobi City Inspectorate began in May last year with an ad placed in local dailies but was temporarily delayed due to the Covid-19 epidemic in the country.
As part of the new look of downtown Nairobi, the manager banned private breakdown operators in the CBD while also taking control of public toilets previously under ‘thug’ control.
“We want to eliminate garage owners who also charge parallel fees from motorists,” said the NMS application manager.