My colleague at the office retorted with a sarcastic laugh when I asked him what can be done to turn around the Kenya Police reputation. ‘Fire them all’ was his recommendation but he changed his mind when we thought through the possible back lash it would have on the security of the nation. What happened to these brave men and women who once took an oath to uphold the law? Is the force indeed beyond repair? We deliberated on several options but all leading to a dead end, I became desperate in my attempts to shine light into the dark filthy tunnel in which the Kenya Police brand lives. We have an ogre of a brand that robs citizens of anything positive they may have to say, think or believe about the officers in blue.
“The Kenya Police is the governmental department charged with the regulation and control of the affairs of a community, now chiefly the department established to maintain order, enforce the law, and prevent and detect crime.” I will not go into the details of how well they are living up to this dictionary description or prescribe a blanket solution.
Police officers ordinary Kenyans who run in an institution with a reputation that is wanting as other public and private insitutions that feature in the Transparency International black list. These officers are our brothers, sisters, uncles, husbands, wives, friends, former schoolmates, neighbours and the list is endless. When you boil it down to the individual level, they are public service officers charged with the important role of maintaining law and order. If we a dealing with individuals like you and I then there is nothing permanent about habit and character.
My point is, individual officers can take leadership in transforming what we perceive of them by surprising acts that are in line with their utumishi kwa wote motto.
Muriithi, a cop stationed in South C at a spot referred to as container flagged me down once and greeted me with a warm disarming smile, he then greeted the other passengers in the car and wished us a safe drive home. We received the same warm reception from him every other time we drove by we finally got it, he genuinely cares for our safety. I wonder if there are other‘Muriithis’, Good men who would not go along with the rotten corrupt culture that blames the low pay, orders from above, willing giver excuses.
Kenya vision 2030 and the general path to realizing true prosperity for you and I will be made possible by a secure and enabling environment provided by the officers wearing the Kenya Police badges now and in time to come. It is up to you and me to assist the government in areas it has failed in providing a conducive environment for us to stump out corruption and impunity. Take the time to salute heroes like officer Muriithi who are already playing their role in saving the the Kenya Police reputation, Let someone know you met a hero who served you well.