Roots of Police Training In Kenya

Though the kenya police had existed since the foundation of colonial Kenya in the mid 1880s, The first formal and centralized training for ‘askari’ started in 1911 what was known as the Police Training Depot. This Depot was located in the site of the current Traffic Police Headquarters along Thika Road near Utalii hotel in Nairobi. The Kenya Police underwent 6 month training and were then was especially detailed to enforce colonial law in areas settled by Europeans. The Administration Police started as the Tribal Police in 1902 and recruits were drawn from village youth/warriors mostly related to the colonial village headman/chief or children of his friends. They received 2 weeks of ad hoc training on basic drill, techniques of making arrest and basic signals. Successful completion led to a passing out where they received a pair of shorts, a shuka, a blanket and a badge. A record sheet that contained all their details was then drafted and kept by the local DO who happened to be white. The tribal police were also known as retainers and their jurisdiction was only in tribal reserves where among other things they enforced taxation. Incentive to join this unpopular job was the retainers were exempt from tax and in the course of their duties they could confiscate and keep things for themselves. In 1958 the Tribal Police who had showed loyalty and bravery in the just concluded anti Mau Mau operations were rewarded with Colours and came to be known as the Administration Police They also got their own central training depot in Ruringu, Nyeri. It was not until 1967 that they moved training to its current location in Embakasi. Debates on dissolving the AP were forgotten after they distinguished themselves alongside the military in the Shifta war. While retaining their grassroots policing mandate, their training curriculum included a paramilitary component that was not in the regular police training. Meanwhile, the Kenya Police’s Nairobi training depot was considered crowded and prone to outbreaks of infections diseases. A decision was made to move training to its current location in Kiganjo Nyeri in the year 1948. The location in Nyeri was both on health reasons but also convenient because the military had just vacated the facility that had served as a POW camp for Italians captured in the second world war.
The KP and AP have since merged under the 2010 constitutional mandate. Currently, training takes place for a variety of specializations in different parts of the country.

attached is a then and now pic of the very first police station in the then British East Africa. It was located old town Mombasa near Fort Jesus. The building is a privately owned and dorobo does not know its current state ever since it was condemned at the turn of the century and thereafter abandoned by some tourism-related businesses.