New Inspector General Japheth Koome sworn in

Written by on 11 November 2022

Engineer Japheth Koome has been sworn in as the new Inspector General (IG) of Police in a ceremony presided over by Chief Justice Martha Koome.

Koome now takes over office from Deputy Inspector General Noor Gabow who has been acting IG since August 2022 following the retirement of Hillary Mutyambai who left the service due to a medical condition.

On Tuesday, November 8 during his vetting, Koome promised to transform the National Police Service (NPS) and offer protection for all Kenyans irrespective of region, tribe, or political affiliation.

The new IG will have to deal with the banditry menace which has rocked the northern part of Kenya in the past few months.

Koome on extra-judicial killings

Japheth Koome at a past event. PHOTO/Courtesy

Koome promised to not only initiate reforms at the NPS but to also stop extra-judicial killings which he said will not happen under his watch as he will ensure that human rights will be respected.

On the new police uniforms he said he will engage his commanders to come up with a way forward on the matter as it has lowered the morale of officers.

“The truth is that officers are not happy with that uniform. You can imagine an officer leaving his residence wearing a uniform he does not like, that office is unhappy. What do you expect he will do?”

He assured the joint committee that he will always engaged other investigative bodies such as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to ensure that Kenyans get the best services as well as avoid conflicts.

On corruption, he said he will deal with the menace not only in the service but also in the recruitment of officers.

On mental issues of the officer, he said once approved he will form a directorate of wellbeing that will be chaired by a person whose ranks will be the level of Deputy IG, which will handle the wellbeing of officers following the rise of cases of officers dying by suicide.

The new police boss has served in the police service for the past 31 years, having been enlisted in the then Kenya Police Force in 1991 as a Police Constable.

This is after graduating from the University of Nairobi in 1990, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.

Koome developed passion for police work while he was still a student at Kagumo high school and it is while in form five that he would visit Kenya Police College – Kiganjo twice a week under a programme dubbed, Kenya Police Cadet Cops, to learn police work.

Upon his graduation at the country’s premier police training institution, Koome, was posted to Nairobi where he performed beats and patrols duties as a police constable before being posted to the Anti Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) in Gilgil.

It is while at the unit credited with the recovery of stolen livestock that the new IG was promoted from a constable to an Inspector of Police and by 1998, he was a gazetted officer, at the rank of Superintendent of Police.

With the experience gathered chasing after bandits and cattle rustlers, Eng Koome, was recalled to the general duty and posted to Buru Buru police division where he was the deputy divisional commander.

He also served as the OCPD Machakos, Maragua, Buru Buru and Central in Nairobi where he dealt with armed criminal gangs in Nairobi’s Eastlands and bank robbers who had taken the city by storm.

But perhaps it is his stint as the Director of Planning at Police headquarters that Koome’s impact in the service was heavily felt, as he spearheaded the police housing and modernization programme where dilapidated police structures across various police stations in the country left behind by colonialists, were replaced with modest buildings giving the service a new face.

He went on to serve as director of planning for 10 years and oversaw major reforms in the thorny issue of police housing and infrastructure development.

Recently, Eng Koome has served as the Nairobi police boss, the principal assistant to the Deputy Inspector General at Vigilance house and the Commandant National Police College Main Campus-Kiganjo.

Koome’s outstanding career

The new Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome. PHOTO/DCI/Facebook

Koome, has had an outstanding, colourful career since his enlistment and has left a mark in every management position that he has held.

He has been at the forefront in spearheading major institutional reforms that have taken place at the NPS and the Kenya Police Service over the years.

Undoubtedly, as he takes over office this morning, the new IGP will take the leading role in exercising independent command over the National Police Service and transforming the service to a people-centred police service that is responsive to the public safety and security needs of all Kenyans.

The Inspector General’s Office was established following the promulgation of the 2010 constitution and its first office holder retired IGP David Mwole Kimaiyo was appointed as the first office holder on December 20, 2012.

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