History of the Administration Police The origins if the Administration Police (AP) can be traced back to around 1902 with the enactment of the Village Headman Ordinance. The ordinance, which was enacted to enable the penetration of the native areas, was ostensibly to bring the native into the money economy, enforce tax, control livestock movement, regulate agriculture, labour, movement of people and various other social and economic regulations.
The village headman, as the chief was then known, was the prime instrument of the Regional Agents, as the District Commissioners were then known.The Kenyan East African Protectorate that became Kenya Colony in 1920 still had an uphill task trying to tie up two parallel economies. Already aspects of British Common Law and Indian Penal Code were in place but the contradictions in the formal and native economies brought about different values and diametrically opposed norms and incompatible cultures and laws. The Kenya Police who were already in existence were focused in the urban areas, the railway routes and areas of the propertied classes.
The village headman had in the meantime to rely on village "toughs" and bullies to effect the often unpopular policies of the Colonial Government and to put in place arbitration and other enforceable mechanisms. These local toughs took up the role of Native Police.
In 1929 the Tribal Police Ordinance was enacted to give legal backing to the Native Police and their training taken up by the respective regional agents, most of whom had a military background. The training, uniform and kitting differed from one district to another and elements of Kenya Police and Kings African Rifles (KAR) assisted in the training. Largely, the uniforms borrowed designs from colonial military regalia with a combination of local culturally respected symbols of authority.
With the exception of frontier areas, the Force remained generally unarmed and in small numbers. Major expansion of the Tribal Police force started around 1948 with increased native agitation and the fear of widespread rebellion countrywide. Even as their numbers increased in Central Province and armament became universal, strength in all areas bordering the province was increased to prevent the spread of Mau Mau influence during the Emergency years.
In 1958 the Tribal Police Ordinance was changed to the Administration Police Act and the Force commenced centralised training at Ruringu, Nyeri. The focus of the training was on basic recruits instruction, promotional and prosecution courses for the Native Courts. Upon attainment of Independence in 1963, the Provincial Administration and the Administration Police were moved from the Ministry of Native Affairs to the Office of the Prime Minister, then Office of the President where they have remained to date.
From the point of the centralised training in 1958, the Commandant Training was the senior most officer of the Administration Police followed by his Adjutant, the other ranks being African and the highest rank being Senior Sergeant Major (Warrant Officer I). All the District Officers and Commissioners held the officer ranks. The Administration Police Officer was generally deployed in one District and if transferred had to be re-issued with a new identity card or re-endorsed for duty in the new District.
Centralisation of training and command continued in the sixties with Embakasi Training School being set up in 1967 at the present day Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and finally moving to the present day Administration Police Training College in 1972. A major step in the shaping of the Administration Police Force was the introduction of inspectorate ranks in the late seventies. Initial batches of inspectors undertook their inspectorate course at Kenya Police College Kiganjo before subsequent groups which attended APTC and Outward Bound School Loitokitok. The Senior Inspectorate members moved into Superintendent ranks in the late 80s as the Government put into place the District Focus for Rural Development which placed a lot of responsibility on the District Commissioners and hampered their ability to supervise Administration Police matters effectively. The Administration Police thus transformed gradually starting in 1958 from a localised Police service to a national structure still however offering localised Policing services.
The present day Administration Police is self-contained with sections such as Signals, Quartermaster, Motor Transport, Medical, Procurement, Accounts and Band as well as other technical sub-sections also staffed by highly qualified Administration Police personnel. Being part of the community, not apart from it, the Administration Police has taken decisive steps to redress what was a predominantly male organisation to one which properly reflects society by recruiting more female officers. 1987 witnessed the first female officers joining the Administration Police and in the last three years as part of a concerted initiative over 800 hundred female officers have joined the service. Many have been deployed to specialist posts and a number have achieved officer ranks as part of their career development and to improve service delivery.
The latest landmark in the history of AP is the outcome of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission talks of 2002-2004. This placed a critical importance on the autonomy and role of the AP as a core provider of safety and security. It identified a range of functions, entrenching its lead responsibility for community safety and national duties. The last two years, as part of AP's human resource policy, has seen a number of key staff undertake specific training courses with outside institutions and overseas Policing services. The Administration Police has also entered into partnerships with various local and international actors on studies in Terrorism, Peace Building, Conflict and areas of human development among others.
The Police Reform agenda of the Government is fully embraced by the Administration Police as the next step in professionalising its policing service. Reform clearly points the way towards the local delivering of Policing services in partnership with the public. The Administration Police must build on the 100 years history of service. It does not assume that the Force has got everything right but rather accepts that it can and must do better if it is to remain the number one provider of community safety. This Plan clearly identifies how it intends to build on its history and initiatives such as this. The Administration Police is fully aware of its abilities and equally of its shortcomings. It intends to build on its solid foundations by creating an even more locally based style of Policing, making our borders more secure and being much more effective in crime reduction and prevention.