Former street children who were sent to the National Youth Service might now find their way into the police force. This follows a decision by the government to increase the number of police officers and include NYS graduates during recruitment.
Ten thousand recruits who will be inducted into both the Kenya Police and Administration Police are scheduled to be vetted and jointly trained at the National Youth Service training college in Gilgil, where a group of street children were first rehabilitated and trained in 2003.
The recruitment officers have been instructed to consider the national diversity during the drive. Women will constitute 30 per cent of the new recruits. Already, 3,500 NYS graduates have been short-listed.
The decision to increase the number of police officers in the country was made during a meeting of Provincial Administration and Internal Security Permanent Secretary Mr Cyrus Gituai, Commissioner of Police, Maj-Gen Hussein Ali, Administration Police Commandant Mr Kinuthia Mbugua, the Director of National Youth Service Mr Japhet Mwania and a Senior Deputy Secretary in the office of the Head of Public Service early this month. The Head of the Civil Service Mr Francis Muthaura ordered the recruitment, which is expected to reduce the police to population ratio from the current 1:1,000 towards the global standard of 1:400.
Mr Gituai is said to have asserted that the increase in the number of police officers was a matter of urgency and high priority.
Police spokesman Mr Eric Kiraithe said the inclusion of NYS graduates was meant to give the police force recruits who are already trained and have a tested disciplined record. The training given to NYS graduates and servicemen will enable police instructors accord the candidates significant credit hours hence the shorter training period.
The recruitment that is scheduled to be complete by the end of February will be conducted in two days by 10 teams headed by an assistant commissioner of police.
The first 5,000 recruits are expected to report for a four-month training session by the end of this February because of bed and bedding shortage. But the college is in the process of procuring double-decker beds to accommodate the entire number.
According to a source privy to the discussions held at the Office of the President a week ago, it was suggested that Mr Mwania, a career police officer, short-lists the first group of candidates that meet all police recruitment requirements. One has to have a national identity card and be aged between 18 and 25 years.
Holders of Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education certificates must have attained grade C-. The age limit for degree and diploma holders is 28 years.
The recruits should not have a criminal record and should have passed an aptitude test.
The NYS director is also expected to prepare another list of recruits with other qualifications like a good track record especially in sports.
Thirty-seven barracks for male recruits and 11 for female recruits have been prepared at the NYS training college.
The NYS will provide cooking facilities, shooting range, accommodation and classrooms while the police will prepare the syllabi, source and provide instructors and announce reporting dates.
The OP meeting also suggested that the 850 administration police officers attached VIPs be withdrawn and redeployed to provide security and leave the jobs to NYS-trained drivers.
The annual police recruitment exercise will be conducted later in the year.