Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet leaves office today when the service is undergoing major reforms aimed at streamlining operations.
Boinnet will be remembered for spearheading the changes in the police service including the introduction of new uniforms and house allowances for the close to 150,000 police officers.
His plans to introduce a new training curriculum for police officers has however been vetoed by fellow commissioners of the NPSC.
Some of the far-reaching changes being undertaken by the service include merger of the Administration Police with their Kenya Police counterparts.
Under the radical changes introduced by Boinnet, both the AP and the Kenya Police are now under a single command structure to boost response and harmonise operations.
Under Boinnet, the two units were brought together and named General Service Officers.
This meant that the AP officers, who used to be at the national administration officers, were reassigned and deployed to police stations across the country.
In bridging the gaps within the security sector, Boinnet embarked on the process of establishing new command structures at the grassroots.
Under these reforms, each of the country’s 290 constituencies or sub-counties was named a polices division under the command of the sub-county police commander.
This was a radical shift from the hitherto divisions that were under Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPDs).
In further boosting the command level at the grassroots, all chiefs camps that initially were manned by APs were converted into police posts.
Each of the country’s wards was given a police station and put under the command of the ward police commander, replacing the former officer commanding police stations (OCS).
In his last day in office, the police boss is expected to meet the incoming commissioners of the National Police Service Commission.
The commissioners who will be sworn into office today will be critical in the recruitment of Boinnet’s successor.
Eliud Kinuthia was appointed the chairman of the NPSC, taking over from Johnstone Kavuludi. Members of the commission include Lilian Kiamba, Eusibius Laibuta, Naftali Kipchirchir Rono, Alice Atieno Otwala and John ole Mayaki.
After taking the oath of office, the commissioners will hold its first meeting and pick a candidate to hold the office of the IG in an acting capacity.
Insiders familiar with the government plans say swearing-in ceremony of the new commissioners had been scheduled for today.
It is expected that the commission, as has been the tradition, will appoint either of the two deputies Noor Gabow or Edward Mbugua in acting capacity as the search for the next IG begins.
Kimayo, who was Kenya’s first IG under the new Constitution, was selected by the National Police Service Commission while Boinnet was picked by the President.
This is after the law was changed to give the president the power to pick one person as the IG from a list submitted to him by NPSC. The commission is supposed to advertise, interview and zero in on three names. The president is required to hand his choice to Parliament for ratification.
Boinnet was tapped in from the National Intelligence Service on March 11, 2015, at the height of terror attacks by the insurgent group Al-Shabaab.
At the time, the country had suffered two major terror attacks among them the deadly Garissa University one which killed over 150 students on April 1, 2015.
The Somali base Al-shabaab militants stormed the university at dawn and sprayed students with bullets in one of the deadliest attacks in the country.
On September 21, 2013, the country had suffered yet another terror attack at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.
At least 71 people lost their lives in the attack by four men believed to be Al-shabaab attackers.
Following public outcry over rising cases of terror, then Inspector General David Kimaiyo was relieved of his job and Boinnet picked to succeed him.
Four years later, Boinnet was still battling terror attacks.
In his days in office, the country suffered the first major terror attack on January 15, 2019.
At least 21 people lost their lives after four gunmen shot revellers at the high-end hotel in Westlands, Riverside drive.
But for the incident, Boinnet’s tenure has come under public scrutiny and the police blamed for laxity and soaring cases of extrajudicial killings.
Boinnet’s four-year-term has been marked with high and lows.
Unlike his predecessor Joseph Kimaiyo, who left office amid public outcry over terror attacks, Boinnet remained steadfast.