Kenyans should expect better police services in the coming months, because new commanders will be taking charge of stations across the country.

The commanders would be the latest graduates of a promotional course, offered by the National Police Service Training College Main campus in Kiganjo.

The high expectation is because the fresh commander bring to the service of Kenyans, lessons from the Independent Policing Oversight Authority – the civilian mechanism established to bridge the gaps that have existed between the police and the members of the public.

This follows, a bold initiative – collaboration and co-operation – by the IPOA Board to reach out to the decision and policy makers at the National Police Service, in a bid to ensure that policing in Kenya is efficient and professional and at the same time, remains accountable.

Today, some 751 officers benefited from this initiative when IPOA Chairperson Mrs. Anne Makori, and her Vice-Chairperson Dr. Jonatham Lodompui visited the main campus at Kiganjo, as external lecturers, to impact knowledge to the officers ahead of graduating and being accorded higher ranks.

The session was interactive, thus involved exchange of challenges, lessons learnt and new ideas.

Mrs. Makori moved to explain that IPOA was formed to ensure policing is professional and not to find fault in officers as they discharge their mandate of protecting lives and properties of Kenyans.

She told the officers: “We are not adversaries. We are all serving Kenyans under the same Government. Do not view IPOA as an enemy, it also exonerates officers. In case of issues, always engage us.”

Mrs. Makori also said: “Leadership comes with a lot of responsibilities. Address issues surrounding your juniors like mental health. Treat those juniors as human beings. Address all emerging issues.”

And Dr Lodompui echoed her remarks: “The police are doing a very important job for this country. IPOA is here to safeguard the lives and property of Kenyans through its oversight function, not to fault find.”

He went on: “Sometimes various actors may want to misuse the police. Stay professional and do your work with diligence. Every good deed will be rewarded. Majority of the police are good people, whose work we have to protect. We urge you seniors, to help IPOA professionalize the Service and work together to bridge the existing gaps.”

He also said: “Cooperate with our inspectors to improve the conditions of our facilities. Exercise your superior responsibility without fear, but also with empathy to our juniors and the Kenyans we’re serving.”

The officials were accompanied by the Authority’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Elema Elake.

He noted: “Station Commanders are the link up and the link down. Let us strike a balance. IPOA is here to receive all operational challenges. Give recommendations to improve the general role of the oversight function of the Authority. The level of service begins from the station commanders so they are the most important people to bring the changes desired in the NPS.  Submit to IPOA concerns from the operational level.”

He went on: “Our investigations go through an intense quality assurance process. We have strong internal mechanisms to aid our oversight functions.”

He thanked officers for their support to IPOA and service to Kenyans.

The new commanders also made requests, that they deem would make policing better.

They asked that IPOA intervenes, on their behalf, and ensure that station commanders have a standing budget “for housing K9.”

K9, means police dogs, trained to sniff out drugs, track criminals and protect officers and vulnerable citizens.

The new commanders also sked for IPOA’s intervention in cases where police officers face “unjustifiable prosecution.”