Interior CS Fred Matiang’i has been summoned by the Senate over the state of mental health in the police service.
The tough speaking CS has been summoned to explain the practical measures being undertaken to address mental health issues within the service. This, the senators say, will aid in protecting the officers and their families.
Matiang’i will appear before Senate’s National Security, Defence and Foreign Relations Committee chaired by Kisumu Senator Fred Outa where he will expound on the policies and administrative measures that will address the arising issues.
The CS will also outline the statistics of the officers who have sought services regarding mental health with comparisons from last year’s data.
“The committee should state the targeted interventions in place to address mental health care and treatment for the officers and indicate how accessible and effective these measures are,” Trans Nzoia Senator Michael Mbito said.
Recently, the worrying trend of officers in the service committing suicide and killing their family members has created tension in the country.
In a span of just one month close to 10 officers have died under mysterious circumstances, others pointed the gun at themselves while others wiped out their whole families following domestic wrangles.
The most recent is that of Corporal Caroline Kangogo who allegedly shot dead two men, among them a colleague and later shot self on the head.
In April, Matiang’i revealed plans to ban police offices from engaging in romantic relationships with colleagues. The move, the CS said, is aimed at curbing the rise in sexual harassment and indiscipline cases including murder in the National Police Service (NPS).
July this year, the tough rules were meant to be effected where officers would be barred from dating or marrying their colleagues in the service.
“We have to adopt a new way [of doing things]. We will create a new gender relations office that will be under the supervision of the Inspector General of Police. Some of the female police officers have filed sexual harassment complaints. I want to assure you that it won’t happen in the future.” He said.
He added, “We will adopt a system similar to that of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) which bars the soldiers from getting into intimate relationships with their colleagues. Moving forward, it will be illegal for a police officer to date or get married to a fellow law enforcement officer. If it happens that two police officers fall in love, then one has to leave the Service.”