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: http://www.winnermanconsult.blogspot.com/2014/12/to-separate-or-not-to-separate.html
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: http://www.winnermanconsult.blogspot.com/2014/12/suggestions-in-realignment-of.html 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.