Police have received 500 new vehicles to enhance their mobility and welfare.
President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned the vehicles on Monday saying one of the most glaring gaps in the security sector was transport.
Uhuru said his government intervened as the effectiveness of the National Police Service had been hampered.
“This sorry state of affairs meant our police officers could not effectively execute their mandate of keeping this country safe and secure,” he noted at Uhuru Park.
President Uhuru Kenyatta trying out the new police equipment./PSCU
The service had only 3,155 vehicles in 2013 and most of them were in poor condition. They have received 2,720 new vehicles so far, under the national police vehicle leasing programme.
Tthe government has also procured 30 armoured personnel carriers to improve police response and capability.
It has also acquired 25 mine resistant armoured personnel carriers that will be deployed to the Coast and North Eastern.
Armoured police cars launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday at Uhuru Park Photo/Monica Mwangi
President Uhuru said the tooling gap in the police service was huge and historical but that his administration was committed to bridging the gap.
“In 2013, police had only one working helicopter and two fixed wing single engine planes. Today they have three serviceable helicopters and the fleet is expected to expand to seven by July,” he said.
He further noted that police officers now have Comprehensive Medical Insurance Cover which came into effect last year. This was in addition to the Group Life Insurance Cover, which they have had for three years.
Uhuru said the first phase of the police housing programme – the construction of 1,500 units in Nairobi and other parts of the country – was underway.
“Two hundred units have been completed and are now occupied,” he said.
He said the construction of phase two’s 4,800 units will begin soon, in line with the government’s commitment to resolving police officers’ housing challenge.
The President said investment in CCTV cameras and improved street lighting as well as better forensics is paying off.
He noted the number of reported robberies fell from 436 in 2014 to 295 in 2016, motor vehicle thefts from 340 to 195, and offences targeting individuals, such as muggings from 1,360 in 2014 to 992 in 2016.
The President asked police and all other relevant agencies to deal firmly with incitement as the country enters the electioneering period.
“Elections come and go, so it is our duty – all of us – to ensure our country remains united, peaceful and secure before, during and after elections,” he said. “I urge politicians of all shades to conduct their campaigns peacefully to confirm our maturity as a democracy.”
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and IG Joseph Boinnet thanked the President for leading efforts to sufficiently equip the police service.