Monday, 5 January 2015

Examining Police Operations

People have wish lists, prayer items, to do lists and in this season New Year resolutions.  In my list I would have loved to see a police structure change in the security amendments 2014, similar to one I described in my article:
All is not lost in my new dream line up I pray to see the following interventions in the way the National Police Service works hopefully under a mandate of Police Operations Director. Before tackling any of the selected operations it is critical for those with the ability to deal with the availability of manpower i.e. boots on the ground. Other than recruitment, devolving police functions could be another way to go. So as to enable the service to focus on critical criminal activities it may be important to consider devolving some functions like the airport, sea ports/ railway police units, VIP/ diplomatic security, bank guarding/ CIT Ops, emergency control room staff, and administrative duties carried out in police service offices’. Already there has been a positive move in this direction in the traffic department by replacing police with NYS and the county inspectorate officers. Although not an official estimate I would venture to say a third of all police officers in the service are engaged in these functions. Some of those tasks don’t strictly need police training as offered in Kiganjo e.g. emergency room personnel or administrative tasks in police stations/ offices, this will immediately free officers to handle critical security situations elsewhere. Another item that is half way off my list until is the need for a ministry with a US Homeland Security, like function. The new security amendment law has tried to bring some coordination by revitalizing the National Counter Terrorism Center among some other efforts to increase coordinated action. This is fine although it worries me if the effort only concentrates on terrorism thus living other serious crimes as witnessed in Kenya unattended to e.g. with the toxic alcoholic brew or the deadly cattle rustling in pastoral regions. Crime needs to be fought through different interventions, some as farfetched as ensuring a good education system for the kids others thro synchronization of functions in different sections of government e.g. County Commissioners’ and police. To do so effectively an office in the Interior Ministry, after all having the Coordination of Government function should be instituted take up this role.
Managing Auxiliary Security Services: A neglected area of policing is what I call auxiliary service including Nyumba Kumi, the Police Reserve, Community Policing and local County Security resources can be used in conjunction with each other and or interchangeably to achieve a set of similar desired goals. Owing to differences in lifestyle, culture or public perception each one of the three may become hampered in service delivery within different environs e.g. where homesteads are; stand alone homes hidden behind tall fences and impenetrable looking gates. It may be more useful to have a security reserve team backing up police indeed in those locales residents are mostly too busy with their own life to notice a neighbor’s suspiciousness emphasized in Nyumba Kumi. The three programs may vary in structure and operation but none may be solely effective in all societies, cultures and environments throughout the country. Yet they could be aligned to work under a single command of Auxiliary Security Services under that Police Ops Director it would indeed reduce the pressure on National Police Service operations countrywide.
I have mentioned this topic before and I found it an avoidable given our current topic.

Adopt Area Lock-Down Procedures: In the immediate after moment of a terrorist attack often the supervisors or the perpetrators if not dead already will be within a determinable radius of the scene as they try to get away, hide or direct the incident further. A review of tactics and past incidents can reveal this radius best but I’d say within a 10Km zone of any incident. The responding strategy by security services should thus quickly lock down the escaping enemy within that radius. This will have two main effects; firstly the ability to immediately stop and arrest the perpetrators and As part of police operations they should constitute a police quick response team on 24hr standby especially in the major metropolises. They would be deployed immediately on report of an attack; to clamp down, interview, search and verify all persons in the immediate area. This team can be used as a backup team but the strategy should be to activate the entire complement of officers in an affected zone, to participate in the exercise. Now that policing is going hi-tech with GoK contracting from Safaricom imagine when all officers have an electronic recording device to store and transmit the data from all the people interviewed whether arrested or not. We are talking; smart electronic comparative analysis, making associations of persons, places and incidents giving more leads and thus heightened possibilities of arresting perpetrators. Secondly this strategy also reduces the attackers’ options for available escape routes in turn limiting the choice of possible targets and makes it harder for the attack planners and strategists especially where the attacker’s get away is envisioned.
Part of locking down an area happens even before an incident as police use roadblocks to monitor the transportation routes used to ferry attackers and weapons to intended targets. Currently the police checks seem to have minimal deterrent effect, being little more than a minor inconvenience or a ‘taxation’ point depending on your passing business. The police should adopt effective practices at roadblocks by use of a ‘Continuous-Random-Search-Procedure’; this is where every local commander may choose on a random number sequence which determines which vehicle will be stopped and searched. The officers choice can be influenced by among other things his complement of available officers, need to avoid public awareness of the sequence being used, the amount of traffic at the hour, the threat level they are working under etc. For example if the commander decided to stop 1 in 5 vehicles, each fifth car will be searched this can be varied as the mentioned variables fluctuate say at rush hour the number may change to 1 in 15 cars. Nonetheless any other suspicious vehicle can still be stopped if officers detect it. Most significant to this process and different from the practice currently, each identified car should be pulled over, the occupants asked to step out of the car then searched, IDs checked and themselves questioned as necessary, the car then searched, registration numbers run electronically (as is being made possible), other normal traffic police checks can also be done together in one go, e.g. ensuring insurance validity etc. The randomness in the procedure makes it very dangerous for terrorists or fugitives and the possibility of an intensive screening being carried out will stop transportation of weapons or smuggled goods. This tactic is also effective in reducing suicide terrorism like that carried out with VBIED’s.

Border Security: this is another topic I believe is worn thin through different articles:      I recently skipped through the National Police Service Act section covering the Administration Police and found it gave clear mandate to the unit for border security. Whilst that may be the case we know then the much announced government upgrades must take cognizance of this, otherwise the country may remain vulnerable. Major points under this subtitle though should include possibility of erecting an effective barrier to stop easy movement of terror activities in and out past a +800KM border. Off course in doing so the challenges are immense, but not insurmountable, cost will be a factor, ability to monitor the fence or wall once erected another issue. A virtual fence is my best bet, it is cost effective and easier to manage, by using a combination of various technologies including ground radars, seismic sensors and physical barriers especially near border towns.  This virtual fence can then be managed by investing in a chain of well spaced forts along the border from which fixed surveillance, patrols and response forces can be launched. The forts must have sizable Border Control and Defense Teams. The size can be easily determined based on history of enemy encounters and requirements for effective patrolling and defense of the borderline etc. Additional duties for such a section could include: to undertake customs and immigration process for all consignments and people coming into the country through their assigned section. The joint border security unit must actuate the amendments in the security laws by regulating persons moving out to other territories to ensure we prevent export of our youth to terrorist training camps or stop the country being abused by acting as a transit point for people from around the globe going to join the al shabaab jihad. I imagine surveillance by use of Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (drones) whether borrowed or our own would be helped at these stations. This way movement in or out of the country becomes extremely difficult for terrorists, their recruits, weapons and all other smugglers and criminals who have heather to hand free reign. Finally I must mention my disappointment not to see a buffer zone created in the new laws, say 10KM on the Kenya side and with bilateral agreement with Somalia a similar zone on their side, quickly giving a 20KM clear zone which would make surveillance that much easier. KDF supported by friendly Somalian militias must also evolve a clearance operation to ensure that the buffer zone actually exists on the Somali side. KDFs work here weather supported by AMISOM or not given recent Mandera attacks, is clearly very important for our national security.
Use Intelligence Led Operations: a joint intelligence analysis management office [a National Data Fusion Center] including NIS, MI, Police, different experts or government officers and other exchange officers from the region is a critical focal point for effective operations. The National Counter Terrorism Center [NCTC] recently enacted in law may be serving in this capacity. The center must be able to provide real time operational intelligence to officers on ground and also give strategic support to other programs in crime control. At County level satellite fusion centers should also be set up. These are not district security or intelligence committees as they exist headed by the county commissioners. Instead they should be operational centers used to coordinate preemptive security operations. The scope of work should be expanded to provide intelligence support to all county anti criminal operations and not limited to terrorism. This way we can expect to see smarter policing through measures like mapping of crime timings and hotspots, better analysis of modus operandi, early identification and tracking of perpetrators, precise anticipation in incident cycles and increased preemptive security interventions. Finally this operation must be able to tackle crime and then precisely identify its causes in order to assist strategists, develop the most appropriate remedial approaches.
Often the best armor is the promise of severe retaliation in the face of terrorism or wild gun touting tribes’ men who now have felled close to a hundred police officers in cold blood in short succession. This can be done by striking at training facilities, supply lines & leadership in pre-emptive hits. A history of expected severe retaliation from our security agencies, in the event of an attack on national interests is a formidable opponent. Critical to this tactic is being able to hit the right and I emphasize the involved targets and to do it in the hit of the moment and not days later. I am sure this last statement will provide enough controversy, yet in the argument it must not be lost that some of the modern day organized crimes we witness like terrorism, has challenged the basic presumptions in our legal system. This tactic will increase the dissuasive effect for any would be terror gangs. The only way I see to undertake such an operation successfully is to ensure the intelligence supplied is on the mark, high quality and does not have to be developed almost in its entirety post incident, “Kazi kwenyu NCTC!”
National Threat Analysis and Risk Management: The likelihood of an attack being carried out called threat will always exist, our exposure to that threat we call risk, which varies based on the counter measures in place. A valid threat assessment can be best achieved by instituting a systematic and continual process of intelligence collection and evaluation as hopefully purported by the revitalizing of the NCTC. As such the Security Council or the Ministry of Interior & Coordination of National Government should develop a mechanism for effective risk management after a threat has been assessed. In short it’s no good to know we will get hit at a certain point if we cannot mitigate it effectively. Timely and effective implementation of counter measures is what eventually protects us central to this necessity then is the need for a proper means to communicate to operational units the prerequisites per time, needed to secure citizens. Effective security measures and procedures are made to be flexible and implemented in proportion to the threat assessed, which in turn may fluctuate given various changing factors. Some of these factor will include the type and magnitude of attack or its location compared to that of response measures being brought into play etc Whenever a specific threat exists, selected and predetermined preventive security measures such as some of those we have discussed here should be applied depending upon the nature of the threat. The National Security Council will have to analyze the vulnerabilities in the country in relation to the given threat assessment and initiate the appropriate set of additional security measures to be implemented for each elevated threat level. E.g. at the police roadblock mentioned above, a factor that informs the sequence of vehicles searched would be the threat level. For the measure to become effective countrywide or even in a single county each predetermined threat level must have a similarly predetermined minimum required response. E.g. at the Threat Level which officials have routinely called RED, the police commander at the road side may be under instruction to search not less than 1 in 2 cars passing by. This in turn places a demand on his deployment officer to give the commander sufficient manpower to carry out this duty as prescribed and thus occasioning uniform effective measures region wide. In my dreams for the future I see the system extended to an appropriate public advisory mechanism in support of police operations.  
Talking of dreams, a lot of the areas we have touched on are supposed on the premise of appropriate officer training both in the police and the other auxiliary security operations like the County Inspectorate who could be upgraded to county or metro, police departments. Highest performance levels in security service delivery will also require a quality management process that is able not only to monitor compliance to standards in the various tasks undertaken but will provide continuous solutions for prompt rectification of lapses noted.
I pray the new IG of Police like me will expect a future where the National Police Service will participate in global or even regional accreditation exercises and score sufficiently to attain the world class credential that is intended in the Police Service’s Vision. In the US for example, there exists an agency known as The Commission for Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies [CALEA], through it participating police departments can receive independent recognizable accreditation on their professionalism. My dream is to see us participate in stuff like that, and for the service in the spirit of regional integration to develop an East African chapter of the same. Imagine the confidence in the workings of police operations that would bring to citizens and internationally. It’s about time it came to be for a nation that wants to attract foreign investment and tourists, don’t you think? For me this is the only way my dream will end well.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

To Amend or Not the Security Laws – 2014 Bill

Having gone through the proposed amendments to our security laws the below is my specific assessment and contribution.
In general these are good amendments proposed for the laws and are definitely the right step towards fighting terrorism and other organized crimes. Obviously the law alone is insufficient to deal with the phenomenon of extremist violent radicalization, in itself a departure from commonly held norms. Further still laws alone cannot protect a nation from impunity or abuse of office and power through the security machinery. Conscientious leadership, democratic values and respect for the purpose and role of security agencies by our leadership will always guarantee it. How that can be achieved for posterity is outside the purview of this document yet it should be pursued by all with similarity of urgency and intensity as these security laws have been worked on. 
In passing these amendments all adherences to the constitution and laws of the land, itself a significant requirement in an effective anti terrorism strategy must be followed. As we legislate, let us not forget Kenyan history and the reasons why we made the laws we now wish to amend. In order to protect those concerns it may be better in some aspects to find strategic, technical or operational means within the security mechanism to move on. As a measure of this same spirit we could evaluate if some currently desired changes if not made actually have the potential to deny us the victory in the war on terror or if protecting/ preserving, previously hard fought for rights may be more advantageous for posterity.
That having been said, I should mention here that it is very apparent to me that a security agency with completely bound hands is and shall remain an impotent one. To that end I am glad that in my assessment of the proposed security law only 07/109 clauses – 7.6% would need to be deleted from the list.
Suggestions for Amendment to the Bill

Amendment Section 32 - Evidence Act Cap 80
Section 20A (2) & (5) - Require a 2 day notification of objection to prosecutor prior to being tendered in evidence. A period sufficient to scrutinize the same documents not less than 3days should be required for production of the documents to concerned parties so they have ample time to go through and launch any objection they may have.
Amendment Section 39 - Prisons Act Cap 70
Insertion of new section 70A - include in details to be recorded by the Commissioner after (g) & before (f); “the record of prisons, specific cell numbers and commensurate dates where the suspect has been held”. Which is critical data declaring specific location and period for those held will be needed in an investigation and should not be left to chance.
Amendment Section 17A - KAA Act Cap 395
Establishment of Inter- Agency Security Advisory Committee – potential for conflict with the National Civil Aviation Security Committee indeed the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Act Section 3B – Functions of the Authority Section 1: (f) the coordination and direction of search and rescue services; (g) the provision of services and facilities in relation to the investigation of aircraft accidents and incidents; (i) dealing with incidents of unlawful interference with aviation security. Section 3 No.(6) In the discharge of its responsibility for aviation safety and security the Authority shall coordinate its activities with other agencies of the Government, including the Kenya Ports Authority, the Department of Defence and the Police. The Civil Aviation Regulations 2013 Part 3 section 10 on National Civil Aviation Security Committee (a) & (b) see especially B 3) Without limiting the generality of sub regulation (2) the Minister shall, in appointing members of the National Civil Aviation Security Committee, ensure that it comprises one member from each of the following departments, agencies or organizations— (a) the Authority; (b) the Chairperson of the National Air Transport Facilitation Committee; (c) the airport authority; (d) the ministry responsible for security or internal affairs; (e) intelligence organizations;
Amendment Section 59 - NIS Act CAP 28
Section 2 (b) in the definition of preventive intelligence include after important personalities or any other matters of national interest
Amendment Section 62 - NIS Act Cap 28
6A. (1) An officer of the Service may stop and detain any person whom the officer— Allow powers to arrest but require the NIS to detain in an authorized police station & notify the OCS/ OCPD of the same and to produce the suspect before court in accordance to the laid down Criminal Procedure Code laws. Furthermore these powers can be limited to specific cases including organized transnational crime like terrorism & drug trafficking only. This amendment seems to have been proposed to deal with breeches of intelligence operations emanating from possible National Police Service Officers who may have leaked information to suspects. If so, measures to promptly prosecute them, internal investigations and counter espionage operations should deal with such occurrences in near term while organization wide culture change/ reform program can be pursued in a 3-5 year plan. Rather than pass the amendment as proposed, one reason to pursue these technical and operational steps is that those who have previously colluded with the police in the past, probably on a corrupt basis, will only change their client to the NIS after the law is changed so that in effect the demand follows the supply and the status remains the same.
NIS act has proposed greater empowerment of the service without providing for commensurate increase in oversight, being that all the work they do is on behalf of the citizens. A prosecution process for intelligence officers who commit crimes should be placed in the mainstream court system. Although the process must then take cognizance of the need for appropriate facilitation when it comes to hearings involving national security matters where disclosure of material would be damaging to the public interest. Central to this is introduction of legislation to make the mechanism known as closed material procedures part of that processes such a system will advance greater public trust and a more ethically run institution. To the end that Kenyans will bear higher confidence in the workings of the agency;

Amendment Section 73 - Prevention of Terrorism Act Failure to prevent entry of weapons -  12C (1) Any person, who, being in charge of any place of worship institution or public place within which illegal weapons are recovered, shall be deemed to be in possession of such weapons and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years. (2) It shall be a defense if the person referred to in subsection (1) shows that he had no control over the entry of the weapons in the place of worship institution or public place or he took appropriate step to prevent into the place of worship, institution or public place. – insert a close to allow the Cabinet Secretary authority to list what the appropriate steps are to leave no room for contention or wider interpretation. Example appropriate measures could include ensuring suitable (specified) training and general awareness programs/ announcements for staff and for all users of the facility, appointment of certain officials to ensure security of the premises, regular search of premises, locking of rooms, facilities that could be used to conceal weapons etc
Amendment Section 75 - Prevention of Terrorism Act Cap No. 30 of 2012
Prohibition from broadcasting 30F (2) A person who publishes or broadcasts photographs of victims of a terrorist attack without the consent of the National Police Service and of the victim commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment for a period not exceed three years or to a fine of five million shillings, or both – Insert; after photographs, “ that visually identify an individual”,  so as to achieve the desired effect in controlling traumatic exposure of personal identities through regular media reporting but at the same time avoid what appears to amount to gagging the media.
Amendment Section Part - VI: Mechanism for coordinating counter-terrorism measures: in addition to establishment of NCTC it is critical to consider establishment of County Data Fusion Centers to be used as intelligence focal points manned by all agencies in the fight against crime including terror which often feeds off other illegal activities such poaching, drugs & small arms trafficking etc  these centers working at county level would be used to better facilitate intelligence led policing which in turn will feed into NCTC, NIS & NPS overall mandates.
Establishment in law of a congruent border security unit involving immigration, customs and excise, NIS, administration police or other relevant security agencies should be a significant inclusion in so much as that terror resources are being imported into the country while supplies and fresh recruits go through the very same borders only to return later to attack among other places the border towns as recent incidents in Mandera & Garissa have shown.
Establishment of a Homeland Security Authority/ ministry that works on a day to day basis to plan, develop, manage, regulate and direct an efficient comprehensive national strategy for all security and non security activities geared towards finishing terrorism and other transnational organized crimes should be a priority and should have informed these amendments even if a separate act of law will be required to establish it. That establishment of such an authority should have come first and the amendments after that to avoid double work and confusion in the running of internal security matters.

Contentious Amendments:
Public Order Act Cap 56
Amendment Section 4 - New Section in Public Order Act Cap 56 - 5A The Cabinet Secretary may by notice in the Gazette designate the areas where, and times at which public meetings, gatherings or public processions may be held. Curtails/ challenges freedoms declared in the Constitution of Kenya Chapter Four––The Bill of Rights No. 37; Every person has the right, peaceably and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket, and to present petitions to public authorities.

Amendment Section 5 - Section 6 of the Public Order Act is amended— (a) by inserting the following subsections immediately after subsection (1)— (1A) Any person who unlawfully convenes, organizes or promotes a public rally, meeting or procession or neglects or refuses to comply with any law relating to public meetings commits an offence. – Supporting curtailing above mentioned freedoms

Penal Code Cap 63
Amendment Section 15 - Inserted Section 66A, A person who publishes or causes to be published or distributed obscene, gory or offensive material which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the general public or disturb public peace is guilty of a felony and is liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding one million shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both, or, where the offence is committed by a media enterprise, to a fine not exceeding five million shillings. – risks curtailing freedom of press/ has no measure to determine content thus open to abuse

NPS Act Cap of 2011
Amendment Section 97/98/99/100 - (Section 12) of the National Police Service Act is amended by— (a) Deleting subsection (2) and substituting therefore the following subsection— (2) The President shall, within fourteen days after a vacancy occurs in the office of the Inspector-General, nominate a person for appointment as an Inspector-General and submit the name of the nominee to the National Assembly. (b) Deleting subsections (3), (4), (5), and (6). (Section 15) of the National Police Service Act is amended by deleting subsections (2), (4), (5), (6), (7) and (8).  (Section 17) of the National Police Act is amended by deleting subsections (2), (3), (4), (5) and (6) – (Section 29) of the National Police Service
Act is amended by deleting subsections (2) and (3).These changes do not affect the war against terror if anything it leaves the office prone to abuses similar to those witnessed historically in the misuse of police by the political class. It is a clear move to de-professionalize the service.

Example of Numerous ‘Acceptable’ Sections
The Majority of 109 clauses in the amendment act are good these parts selected here are just examples;

Cap 56
- The increase in penalties e.g. from 1k to 10k or 100k from 3months to 2years
- Corrections of titles Commissioner to IGP Minister to CS Province to County etc
Cap 63
-                                -   Insertion of new section 128A - Offences by public officers
-                                -   Insertion of new section 251A - Insulting modesty by intruding privacy or stripping
Cap 75
-                  -  Insertion of section 36A - Remand by court – giving lee way for terror investigations yet maintaining judicial supervision of the curtailment of individual freedom

Other articles of interest:
Ø  My Top 10 Things in the 1st Month for the New Security Chiefs:
Ø  What specific role do you have, when it comes to national security?
Ø  Addressing Current Public Dissatisfaction in Policing:
Ø  Suggestions in Realignment in Administration Police Functions

Date: 14/12/2014         

Sincerely Yours

Bernard M. Makau
Managing Partner
Winnerman Consult & Training Ltd.
                                                                                      cell: 0722645053,

twt: @muokiben7, FB: ben muoki LkdIn: ben muoki  

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Suggestions in Realignment of Administration Police Functions

In recent months debate has been rife on how to improve security one thought line, being that we should separate the Administration Police (AP) from the Kenya Police (KP). In my previous article;
“To Separate or Not To Separate AP & KP”; found at:

I said that the AP & other operational police units should be under a single Deputy IG responsible for National Police Operations. That could happen in a set up where there are six other Deputy IG’s each responsible for a department functionally aligned for maximum service delivery and an IG of the entire National Police Service to make up a Police Service Executive Council that will then be responsible for Kenya’s internal security. Already the functions for AP and KP are spelt out in the National Police Service Act. Some of the AP’s more specific functions given in law include:
1)    Provision of border patrol and border security – with proper resourcing including some military grade equipment, advanced border monitoring technology and manpower reconstitution to include immigration, customs and some intelligence personnel. There will be need to post more officers to those border regions in this new Border Security Section (BSS - AP) of the AP unit;
2)    Provision of specialized stock theft prevention services – this role can either be left to the Anti Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) or undertaken within county jurisdictions
(see No. 4 below);
3)    Protection of Government property, vital installations and strategic points as may be directed by the Inspector-General – AP involvement could be minimized to the very critical assignments while most others can be left to properly regulated private contractors.
4)    Rendering of support to Government agencies in the enforcement of administrative functions and the exercise of lawful duties and co-coordinating with complementing Government agencies in conflict management and peace building – these two functions should be carried out at County Government level. So that instead of giving the AP back to public administration offices they are seconded to the County Governors office through a revised county policing authority clause in the NPS act. One of the accusations leveled at central government is that it has left out county authorities in management of security. Therefore this suggestion may give them more play in the role while still maintaining sufficient control to ensure the opportunity is not abused. Some advantages for this set up may include realignment of majority officer postings to home districts with an aim of eventually having at least 70% of all APs in the County Security Services Section (CSSS – AP) deployed to work from their homes. The remnant 30% can be deployed to away from home areas thus reducing housing costs and ensuring ethnic balance. After the initial AP recruitment and training, officers in this section should be sent to regional training facilities where issues specific to the region and or county needs, can be trained on training centers can cover rustling prone regions, coastal and or rural regions etc. The important role of community policing could then be added as an important function of the CSSS who operating from home will be best placed.

The different sections within the AP unit will be highly specialized so as to provide optimal service delivery. These different lines of deployment for the Kenya Police as opposed to the Administration Police would be somewhat, although not entirely similar to those in the US where they have Federal, State and even County officers all undertaking policing. After examination of that system, it appears there is no, “one-size-fits-all” for their national security either. In order to properly and most effectively deal with widely varying security scenarios across our own country we may need to create laws and or operational strategies that address our people’s specific needs and situations where they are, as best as possible. To this end the internal ministry which is responsible for police should invite proposals from counties, as to what duties and functions they may want AP deployment in their areas. This article is not written as a complete study on the topic but as mere talking points to sponsor further thought. Issues like the parallel security command lines in the police command and the County Commissioner or even governor, jurisdiction issues, budget and funding lines among others must be tackled as we consider this topic. 

Similar articles of interest:
Ø  My Top 10 Things in the 1st Month for the New Security Chiefs:
Ø  What specific role do you have, when it comes to national security?

Ø  Addressing Current Public Dissatisfaction in Policing:

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

What specific role do you have, when it comes to national security?

“Security Begins with you, security begins with me”. Our president has been in the forefront of advocacy for individual citizen involvement in our national security. The following is what I believe it would entail;

Don’t Be Divided: The initial task should be refusing to be cheated and divided into religious/ ethnic/ sectarian groupings to harbor bitterness toward each other or to fight. Note that one of al shabaab’s goals is to takeover our region with their extremist Sharia dogma. The numerous attacks on churches since 2011 were calculated to cause hatred and division between Christian and Muslim citizens. In the recent Lamu attacks [2014] the strategy had changed to, one meant for the division of Kenyan’s into ethnic affiliations based on indigenous and migrant coastal populations. Now in Mandera they are attempting to alienate a portion of our territory with targeted attacks on non local people who now, have escaped and in the process abandoned critical functions like medical services and schools. I might say here that for individuals to play their role properly the government needs to put in such measure as to protect citizens as those suggested in my previous article; My Top 10 Things in the 1st Month for the New Security Chiefs.
If there is a time to be patriotic and to actively support police efforts in securing the country it is now. I hope the police will quickly reform, enough to be capable of receiving and processing critical information to forestall further incidents. In our places of worship we must deny access, refuge or storage of anything or one associated with extreme violent plans/ groups or utterances. Don’t just refuse them, report them also. They are not your friend or worthy relation, once they are through with the rest they will turn on you just see what they did to non extremist people in Somalia before KDF went in there to liberate them.
Don’t Be Cowed: Understand that the global war on terror has come home and “terrorism is a form of manipulation of individual and collective psyche that use fear as a stimulant”. The aim, in our case is to cause us to demand of our leadership, the immediate withdrawal of KDF from Somalia & AMISOM. Why? so that they can regain control of Somalia. Be sure if that were to happen our neighbor will become the world HQ of terror and al shabaab’s goal to take over the region will only have been strengthened, to crush our constitution and chosen way of life as they had completed in Somalia before. Therefore stand strong know we shall win, we are in a war there may be casualties but we shall surely win. Kenya is cut from the blood of freedom fighters, our gallant soldiers are paying the price as you read this, now it is our turn us individual citizens to support them and do so too.
Reject Substandard Security: an example is the process that goes on at entrances to most public places; malls, office blocks etc it is no secret that, is not a proper security check yet we all go about our business unconcerned. None I have heard going to the management to complain, none protesting to the security companies fleecing clients in the guise of offering a security service, none avoiding premises that are not well secured! Further to that is it not interesting that the attacks either in churches, restaurants even the Westgate mall incident, have all been forced entries, yet most of these places have a counter measure that is meant to detect concealment and stealth at the point of entry? All of us must become more proactive to ensure security providers government or private are providing the service to the standard required of them. A word of caution; this is not to say we become arrogant or get a, “You must know people!”, attitude find the best, quickest and most effective way to communicate your concerns preferably to the supervisory/ managerial level instead and get corrective action put in place.  
See Something, Say Something: Report any suspicious behavior including suspect tribal formations, acquisition, concealment or transport of any weapons including machetes (pangas), clubs (rungus), guns, suspect hazardous or explosive material and suspect people with unclear activity in forests or private ranches e.g. unexplained groups or movement of supplies e.g. uniforms, large unexplained purchase of foodstuffs or medical supplies, different vehicles that could be used for transporting an army or that may have an IED hidden on board. Although there could be a completely innocent explanation for this sort of suspicious information/ activity it is better that further investigation by the police and not private individuals takes place because of the risk associated with for example your inability to properly counter the likelihood of extreme violence. It is true there exists a chance your suspicions are wrong still the slight embarrassment one could suffer when the police confirm [to you in private] later that your suspicions are untrue is nothing compared to the losses of an actual attack. I must mention here the government must play a more active role in this campaign to create confidence in the public in order to gain their full participation.
Pay for Good Security: Good security is expensive and also inconvenient. Cost of modern equipment, appropriate training and security operations not to mention the levels of manpower required to properly cover any area is very high. Imagine blocking off the entire estimated 800KM border between Kenya and Somalia so that no single terrorist can cross over. The inconvenience we may have to endure while becoming securer can become substantial e.g. the searches being carried out now at police road blocks on different highways, done properly it would be random motorists being stopped required to disembark produce valid ID and the car’s every compartment and hiding place properly searched. During heightened security alerts we have witnessed something like it at JKIA entrances when the traffic jam spreads out into Mombasa road. Even with modern smart technology security will be obtrusive how else would the police know who or what is being ferried to or from a scene of crime. So let’s pay for good security lest you get substandard, underequipped, poorly trained service providers who in themselves are the vulnerability that the attackers exploit. Let’s also master patience when going through security checks at impromptu or at expected check points, the more we are willing to queue, wait and cooperate while going through proper security before entering a premises say a supermarket the more secure we will be.
Device a Family Plan: Each house hold should have a customized security plan. The elements involved may vary widely for one home to another based on locale, member’s routines, ages even distances separating each during the stretch of any 24hrs. I suggest to begin by 1st listing all likely scenarios taking into account day or night time activities of each family member e.g. places of work and duty times, collage attendance, home-stay, sick persons/ hospitalized etc. One constant can be making it a habit in your home to inform each other of your exact location and movement during the course of your absence from the house this way if any report comes through of problems at one point that information can be relayed to those in danger in good time to escape. Plan where to go, how to meet in case you are in separate locations and phones are dead, who to call, include someone who is away from the immediate affected area in the event of an incident. This is helpful incase each of you cannot reach one another. Ensure each family member has memorized the critical phone numbers including police and emergency numbers. Discuss among yourselves what to look out for and about security at places of worship, work, school etc. topics like what was suspicious, which places to avoid, happenings out of the normal occurrences, what actions needed to address them etc You may even organize as the larger family, groups of families, neighbors to get outside help train in first aid, situational awareness, and detecting surveillance, surviving active shooter scenarios among others.
Form Neighborhood Watch Groups: from the family it will be easier to work out your local chapter of Nyumba 10. Already many neighbors have estate, village associations and similar groups. These are perfect as many already have security as an agenda. Households will have greater leverage with local public administration and police especially when requiring some support in sensitization programs or heightened patrols etc in addition to terrorism other crimes like illicit brew/ sale of alcoholic drinks, FGM, cattle rustling, and narcotics growing, handling, trade or use, child abuse, human trafficking, criminal hide outs or warehouses etc can be promptly reported for police intervention. It would have been best to have an active Police Reserve in addition to the Nyumba 10 program. We should lobby GoK, to have this sort of arrangement properly instituted to give a chance to those who would make the extra sacrifice and join just such a unit and volunteer their time and ability in the protection of society.
Master Emergency Measures: Most public buildings these days have emergency measures including fire assembly points and equipment. Those who have read my article; My Top 10 Things in the 1st Month for the New Security Chiefs.
now know that emergency preparedness and response can contribute toward reduction of the impact in an attack by more than 50%. In turn that reduces the suitability of a target to a planner who is looking to create maximum impact. If all Kenyans actively take interest even request their building managers to organize appropriate response programs it will sum up in a disciplined security responsive society less likely to suffer extreme impact in an attack. As you enter any premises take time to note fire escapes etc that could be used if circumstance calls for it. When time is available or at regular places you visit, try thinking like a terrorist/ criminal, what would they do? How would they attack? Putting yourself in their shoes even just mentally will open you up to ideas of what could happen and thus you are better armed to device what your response would be if just a thing like that happened. Past events found on the web can help you visualize those possibilities better after all, history repeats itself. For example did you know the first time terrorist attempted hijacking multiple aircrafts (4) simultaneously was in 1970 by PFLP and not in 2001 in the US by al Qaeda? Well taking time to go through different historical scenarios will give you a good focus on future events. Coupled with situational awareness [last point below] you will have increased your survival/ escape chances considerably. In addition you could also organize/ attend emergency response training with agencies like ICRC, fire fighting etc. In the event an incident actually occurs make your different resources available to help and also to reduce the impact as quickly and as much as possible. You could decided you will do specific things before hand once you determine what exactly it is you can do in such a scenario I hope the National Emergency Response Center [NERC] has or can have a data bank of all these voluntary assistance offers that I hope will come forth so they can better focus the activities as precisely as possible. That center can learn from previous public out pouring of voluntary assist to victims and or emergency responders. NERC must encourage now wide spread growth of this culture in order to secure the largest/ best public response in time of need.
Develop Your Situational Awareness: one of the points that stood out for me in the 9/11 report after aircraft hit the twin towers & pentagon, is that the security agencies never thought that such an incident could happen to the US.  At that individual level where ever you are, situational awareness is called for; being aware of what is happening around you during the course of your day is a critical skill required of the best security operatives round the world. For the average person on the street it is equally important the advantage being it is a skill that anyone can train themselves to wield expertly. Perhaps the most important factor affecting a person's reaction to a life-threatening incident is their mindset going into that situation. Often when we train air crew on how to deal with an aircraft highjack scenario I tell them to live through the situation in their minds, to feel the emotions and see themselves overcoming any initial fears so as to do the things we recommend that they do in order to survive and help others survive. The way we human beings are wired makes it very difficult for a person to go from a mental state of utter unawareness if you like perceive ignorance to the likelihood of such situations occurring to a state of heightened alertness. Picture the mind working like a manually operated car if the driver tries to shift from gear one to gear six straight without going through the other gears the car will stall. Preparedness therefore calls for mental preconditioning on your part to avoid going into a stall/panic. Many times you see or hear stories of victims going into situational paralysis, which makes you freeze, unable to respond to a dangerous situation thus limiting your chances of survival only to the existence of luck. The victim must have tried to shift gears up, mentally too fast. Other than being aware of your situation you must also learn to trust in your gut feeling when it says something isn't quite right. In the police force of the time we called it, ‘akili ya sita’, English translation, ‘the sixth sense’. By overriding this ‘akili’ through rationalizing away your sense of danger is deadly. As a first step in mastery of these skills, accept that our society is living through security trying times. Secondly each day everywhere you may be, look out for small tell, tell signs of evolving dangerous situations, much as one does when cruising along on the road relaxed but alert for the goat that not knowing any better suddenly jumps onto the road chasing after better grazing on the other side. The driver alert can pick up the signs early and slows to allow him pass. In the same fashion not being paranoid but yet sufficiently aware of your environment you are able to see danger approaching and step on the brakes or divert the course of your movement. The greatest hindrance here is the self, who vows security is the work of police or KDF, who says they have no role in it. They are the kind of people who mostly get caught up moving from ignorant, obstinate citizen to victim or casualty and possibly statistic very quickly.

Friday, 5 December 2014

My Top 10 Things in the 1st Month for the New Security Chiefs

  1. Request Parliament to Authorize Use of Military Internally Anywhere in Kenya In Advance for the Next One Year: Based on you inheritance of a police force in a state of current disability. Any intelligence of likely attacks will help your request so as to avoid confusion in the event of any critical attacks. This request should be made as focus on improving NPS’s capabilities takes course. In the 2nd month a ‘Reforms and Upgrading of NPS Report’ should also be submitted to parliament committing the executive to SMART milestones in the change & improvement process. – Immediate.
  2. Touch the Untouchable & Round up Quietly, as Many Possible Suspects as You Can:  Do it throughout the country for all suspects to a felony not just terrorism, freeze suspect terror & organized crime accounts in short, take the war to the enemy! If need be declare a RED THREAT STATUS. If there are some who politics or other pressures protected before, use your current public good will before it expires to deal with these kind of ‘untouchables’ not just terrorists and their supporters but also errant/ corrupt police, immigration, customs and excise officers among others. Hunt them down, prosecute them all and follow up to recover benefits they accrued unfairly and have it covered through mass media to make your firm position known. Do so to the point others will be properly warned against malpractices like corruption. In addition engage an inspection & test unit moving around the country to check effectiveness of the rest of your security system. For those found still wallowing in negligence ensure internal disciplinary processes work on overtime. Shock therapy is the way to get unstuck this NPS from its state of current rot. – Immediate.
  3. Set up a Professional Public Communications & Joint Psycho Ops Office: Terrorism must be fought on both fronts that the enemy is positioned in. That is on the physical and the psychological front. Most attacks al shabaab engages in are calculated to cause fear even panic in the target group. Case in hand, Mandera where now they are 100% successful in causing a migration of non locals thus further alienating locals with the hope of assimilating area and local’s later. What’s likely to happen upon your appointments is heightened attacks round the country to try dishearten Kenyans. The terrorists hope to do this to the point if possible where citizens, in fear forcedly demand a withdrawal of KDF from Somalia and thus unwittingly eventually bring victory to al shabaab.                                                       Consequently as much as the CS, IG even President will make public pronouncements on current security situations it will be best if mostly, professional spokes persons as part of this proposed office are used going forward. – Target in 15 days 
  4. Increase Information Collection & Processing Capacity: Implement County Intelligence Fusion Centers where all security agencies are represented operationally covering all crimes. From these centers twice daily reports to NIS & NPS HQs. At every police station country wide require increased security information collection and on time relay. Institute a ‘SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING’ public campaign similar to the US system, but localized for use in Kenya , one way is to co-opt county leadership etc in the drive. Complimentary to this system must be prompt dissemination through advise/ directing or updating the public & owners of private premises [e.g. malls] on likely threats and necessary precautions in their particular areas – Target in 15 days
  5. Border Protection: Have KDF take over border security along the volatile stretches right from the coast & ocean stretches thro the eastern borderline with Somalia all the way to the northern part bordering Ethiopia. Maintain watch over coastal waters for sneak or sudden speed boat attacks. Included in this agreed role with KDF is: setting up of a multi unit rapid response team with quick airlift capability to move in ward or outward of the country from bases in places like Garissa etc. They should also take charge of entry/ exit movement from the country along that border. The military could create a 10-15KM clear security buffer zone along that entire stretch of borderline where no activities or movement will be permitted. Most importantly KDF must challenge and destroy terrorists and hide outs on Somalia side within 100km of Kenya AMISOM mission or not. – Target in 10 days 
  6. Big Town’s, Main Roads and Country Side Operations: From No. 1 above determine early which areas the military will take charge of and which ones will be left to the police example say all Northern Kenya due to remoteness and frequent violent fighting will largely have KDF on duty & on standby to deploy while cities and big towns will be managed by the police. Use ‘Continuous Random Thorough Search’ at road blocks on highways and main roads. Increase overt surveillance of all vital installations including hospitals, hotels, malls main bus stops offices, churches etc, declare curfews in Mandera & Garissa and increase overt military presence at all hospitals, schools, business premises etc surround the towns to ensure movement in and out is firmly controlled similar measures could be done for other known target areas. Also ban night road travel, where possible institute armed escort for convoys of all public transport. Ensure rapid response units & plans per sub county nationally are ready to move at any time – Target in 10 days
  7. Command a Review of Our Emergency Preparedness: Do hospitals have enough emergency medicines & kits? What of blood banks etc, undertake table top, full and semi drills nationwide, review emergency procedures, request supplies as may be required. 50% of the impact of an attack can be reduced by quick competent response and return to normalcy. Confirm all round preparedness for different scenarios. Demand KDF produce and commit to a ‘Severe Retaliation Plan’ in readiness to hit back hard on al shabaab’s weak points too in readiness to immediately strike back in the event of an attack on our national interests. By establishing this way of retaliation as a norm it will reduce the probability of any terror planner instigating any attack by raising the cost on lives and collateral damage to the terror gang – Target 15 days.
  8. Assess and Make Your Fair Report of Internal & National Security Status to Parliament: Some issues to include will be recommendations for review of the legal and structural frame work in security services. This report can be a precursor to the report alluded to in No. 1 above. That way speculation and downright miss information will be substituted for a united front against the enemy. The consequent parliamentary debate on your report and the agreed way forward also reduces pressure on both CS & IG so long as you keep to strategy and targets you agreed with parliament. Finally it paves the way for additional funding requests that you may make. – Target in 20 days.
  9. Request Even Bigger Funding: For any needed equipment and capacity building yes, but also to pay for information if we don’t know where ‘they are let’s buy them out of their hiding places’. Demand results from those who spend that cash. If funding for some development projects has to be diverted for a year or two to beef up security so let it be. Parliament can explain to the public but am sure public understanding and support is available now – Target in 20 days.
  10. Commence Expansion of Anti/ Counter Terrorism Capacity: Build officer capacity in short courses 15 days – 1month e.g. 1st responder to Terrorism, Recognition & Neutralization of Suicide Bombers/ VBIEDs, Close Quarter Street Battling and Intelligence for Field Operatives/ Police Officers, among other courses. As they are trained so let them be deployed guided by intelligence assessments as to the places where most threat exists initially. Where increased deployment is not readily available the current officer compliment in those areas could benefit first to go for such training before moving to less prone areas. As for private sector security, engage the service providers to find ways in which they can upgrade their levels of securing in support of NPS efforts deliver joint recommendations to parliament – Target in 25 days

To Separate or Not To Separate Administration Police & Kenya Police

Good arguments have been made on both sides; keeping the Administration Police & Kenya Police together provides uniformity of purpose as our constitution’s authors envisioned. On the other hand internal rivalries from differences in functionality, training and equipping levels etc have prevented seamless policing; other countries have multiple policing agencies [although context in which they exist must be examined]. Hate to say this, but I cautioned on this 2 years ago in a blog article titled, Rethinking Internal Security in Kenya. Here is an excerpt;
“the more paramilitary, Administration Police Force [cap 85 LoK - repealed] is scheduled for complete merger with the Kenya Police Force [cap 84 LoK - repealed for The National Police Service act 2012]. This merger envisioned by the constitution writers now has to be actualized without lowering the standards of services provided, this will require more than command or law. In the corporate world where companies have merged, studies show that these kinds of arrangements look good on paper but end up disastrously in practice. Close to 70% of them fail. Because both organizations run under strict command and control regimes little may be said from within but as any other merger the challenges could include insufficient trust building at all levels. It should not be assumed that because they are all law enforcement organs that therefore individual actors within each of them will have the confidence or working trust required for optimal execution of duty. Clash of unit cultures from differences in the management style and power struggles between officers and ranks is also a real danger, the awarding of promotions and postings and also the differences in types of duty deployment will all need careful consideration and deliberate work to address each challenge. In addition to reassuring the general public the Inspector General will critically needs to reassure with frequent communication and action, his human resource at every rank that both professional and personal interests are all adequately covered in these new changes.” www.
May be some decision makers never got to read it then, no use of crying over spoilt milk now but so what should happen then? Well I would prefer to see a complete overhaul of the NPS structure from constitutional level down. In doing so I hope a functionally aligned & operationally consolidated police service instead of a traditionally structured system will be. Those who argue the old structure where AP was under the Public Administration must first ask, is there a legal basis to have that system? 2nd but equally important, are the security challenges similar now as those of that era? Finally would a multiple agency approach in Kenya address our challenges? An emphatic No, for all the questions must be the answer. In separating AP & National Police we risk creating confusion & loopholes through dual policing structures on the other hand realigning them functionally would help to consolidate operations under one IG, AP could join other units like GSU, CID, KAPU, Anti Stock Theft Unit or Anti Terrorism Police Unit etc. After all no argument can possibly justify why AP should maintain a more preferred status, than those other units to the point where they operate under a separate Deputy IG. The remedy then is to give AP Unit a clearly defined role in overall policing operations just as other units have at the moment. Arguments that chiefs & the Public Administration don’t have biting power since AP withdrawal can be answer by considering if there should be separate policing strategy other than that provided by the IG. I believe one coordinated national operational security plan is best. What could be done to address the Public Administration’s still valid concerns? One approach would be to require coordination with NPS & more so to include that ‘coordination with NPS’ in all periodical evaluations of operational success at local police station level. Some joint awareness & team building training for both police and administrative officers will be required to ensure every stakeholder is on the same page, with that we should be good to go. The police on the other hand could be required through directive to provide the public administration a compliment of officers to back them up. As for the AP & other operational police units they should be under a single Deputy IG responsible for National Police Operations, as mentioned elsewhere a suggested functional National Police Service structure could look like this:
A Technical Department under which would be a cutting edge IT systems section responsible for smart technology like the CCTVs or a virtual border management systems, an information analysis systems and communication gadgetry. Other sections under Technical should be responsible for other police equipment including forensic labs, weapons, transport including aircraft etc
CID can remain with its current functions [investigations, criminal intelligence, criminal records, police prosecutions under a Deputy IG;
A Police Operations Department where current police units GD, GSU, AP, Dog Section, Anti Terrorism & Anti Stock Theft Units, air-wing etc can be strategically managed The Coordinator for Auxiliary police services covering, Police Reserve; Community Policing & Nyumba Kumi Operations can also sit under here. All other operational units like my proposed Border Control Unit will also report to a Deputy IG here;
Standards, Oversight and Inspectorate Department that can be entrusted with guiding police reforms & be responsible for all Police Standards and Private Security standards, part of its role will be setting and enforcing procedures as discussed under my article on ‘National Security Standards for All Public Accessible Premises & for Private Security Agents’ and that on ‘Use of Fire Arms by Private Security Companies Law’ they should also ensure standards are maintained in the ‘National Emergency Response Plan’;
Department of Strategy Coordination, Public Communication and Liaison [with rest of government ministries and other states around the globe], envisioning multiple aspects in the national security strategy including use of focused non military and or human security concepts in the functioning of different government ministries and private stakeholders. As for communication & counter propaganda these are critical to win the hearts and minds of already alienated and or negatively perceiving sections of our population as far as police work is concerned.
Finally there should be a Deputy IG heading a Department responsible for General Admin & Personnel where HR – (recruitment, management & Training will sit, financial accounting, career development programs & management of an appropriate officer retirement plan can also be located here.
These six Departments each headed by a Deputy IG together with the IG can form the Police Service Executive Council to act similar to an executive board of a major multinational that has critical operations all over the globe. Through it issues like Terrorism, organized crime or the much needed reforms can be managed in world class style. After all the principles of management remain constant even where businesses may differ from one to another

Addressing Current Public Dissatisfaction in Policing

If we envision a national police agency with a military or ‘Force’ like outlook then have the IG, his deputies & some of his top brass go through senior military officers Defense College in Ngong. If on the other hand we are looking for discipline some remedial measures to curb current in security then restructure the NPS to separate police & admin police possibly do some internal transfers. To really address the concerns with internal security we should begin with crystallizing exactly what it is we want in a national security system & that therefore means determining the main problems we would like addressed first.
For not wanting to write too long I surmise both challenge & proposed solution in the following points; effective anti-corruption, officer buy in for the police reforms, anti extra judicial shooting program, attaining world class customer services level, improved response time to emergencies, effective counter terrorism, counter cattle rustling & ethnic violence programs, upgrade of policing skills & officer educational levels, standardization of operational procedures closely followed by effective performance management systems, increased intelligence led policing, a much needed agency rebranding & image change effort, Improved work & accommodation conditions for police officers increased & upgraded security equipment. Also important is a dependable career development program free of nepotism & other evils that have begat HR management in the service. Finally an improved retirement plan for officers to work & look forward to among those important mile stones I would claim we all aspire to see surpassed.
Simply put, the goals stated here require less technical knowledge in policing or security & more prowess in agency executive management therefore  in order to see the changes we most desire, what is most required is a corporate CEOs mind set from the IG and his leadership team nationally. The Cabinet Secretary at the helm of the ministry can act as the agencies (NPS) chairman.  
What parliament could do is design SMART goals based on the above suggestions for the National Police Service top brass to meet. In addition set up a competent Transitional Reforms Oversight Committee anchored in law possibly comprised at a minimal of; NPSC, IPOA, NPS & a ‘Dream Team’ like component from the corporate world whose responsibility it will be to report to parliament & to deliver the now overdue reforms.

After writing this post I have continued to reflect on it wondering who best to take up this job, especially now the IG has actually resigned. I have settled for Dr. Julius Kipngetich - COO Equity bank if he would be interested check out his profile on the equity bank web page I think he is perfect for the job.