List of All Special Units in the Kenya Police Service
Like their Administration Police Service counterparts, Kenya Police Service officers play the important role of protecting life and property.
Kenya Police Service does this using specialized units that work on different assignments.
So what are the units of the Kenya Police Service? Here is a list of all formations;
1. General Service Unit (GSU)
- The General Service Unit is a special paramilitary police unit that is largely known for its crowd control exploits.
- Headquartered along Thika Superhighway (Ruaraka) in Nairobi, the unit is primarily tasked to secure the President, state houses/lodges, and vital government installations.
- To ordinary Kenyan folk, the GSU is known as Kofia Nyekundu which translates to red beret in English.
- With the iconic red berets atop their heads complete with jungle green combat uniforms, the GSU spells order wherever they go.
- The Kenyan president’s security is provided by an elite sub-unit of the GSU called the Company G/ G Company.
- Other sophisticated sub-units within the GSU include the Recce Squad, known for its near-surgical hostage rescue operations.
- Recce Squad hit the headlines in past terrorist attacks on Kenyan soil, launching daring operations to neutralize the attackers.
- The GSU is currently under the command of the Senior Assistant Inspector
General Douglas Kanja Kirocho.
Also read: List of All Administration Police Units in Kenya
2. Presidential Escort Unit (PEU)
- The security of the President of the Republic of Kenya when on the move is provided by multiple security organs.
- The most visible of them is the Presidential Escort Unit often occupying the front of the motorcade.
- PEU is also mandated to provide security to the following persons;
- Visiting heads of states
- President’s family (first family)
- Deputy President
- Retired presidents
- Provide Security to any other V.I.P. as may be directed by the Inspector-General.
3. Kenya Police Traffic department
- The Kenya Police Traffic Department is a formation responsible for manning Kenyan roads.
- They are tasked with ensuring the free flow of traffic and enforcement of traffic laws in Kenya.
- The traffic department also is actively involved in accident prevention and investigation.
- When an accident occurs official details are released by the traffic officers in charge, with eyewitness reports providing additional information.
- While corruption has been a challenge in this department, the effectiveness of traffic is credited to this unit.
4. Kenya Police Dog Unit
- The Dog Unit is responsible for the care and maintenance of all police dogs.
- The unit includes specialized dog trainers and handlers.
- Known as canines in security slang, dogs are very helpful in crime detection such as narcotics and contraband items.
- Their olfactory prowess is vital in locating explosives and in pursuit of criminals.
5. Kenya Airports Police Unit
- Kenya Airports Police Unit is a police formation that serves in Kenya’s airports.
- While it is mainly stationed to arrest crimes at these ports of entry, they investigate any claims related to the transit of goods and people.
- These may include lost luggage and passenger records.
- The unit also guards aircraft parked within the airport premises.
- Escorting valuables, explosives, arms, and ammunition, wanted and extradited persons is also a preserve of the Airports Police Unit.
- They also guard vital installations within airports and provide VIP security and coverage within the airports.
6. Kenya Railway Police Unit
- The Railway Police Unit is responsible for securing railway operations in Kenya, by investigating incidents related to the Railways Corporation property.
- Errant train passengers can also be arrested and investigated by the Railway Police Unit.
- They investigate any claims related to the transit of goods and people including lost luggage.
- Other duties include inquiries into accidents on railways and escort duties for goods in transit.
7. Kenya Police Airwing
- The Kenya Police Airwing always has a plane in the hangar ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.
- It is tasked with providing close air support during security operations by the police.
- Air support may include reconnaissance missions (ariel survey) and visual assistance for ground operators.
- The Kenya Police Airwing also flies senior government officials and other authorized VIPs, as well as casualty evacuation.
8. Tourist Police Unit
- The Tourist Police Unit was established to protect the lives and property of tourists visiting Kenya.
- The officers receive and address complaints from tourists, as well as investigate and prosecute tourist-related crimes.
- They patrol beaches, hotels, and tourist circuits streets/roads used by tourists with a view of averting attacks on them.
- Tourist Police protect tourists from harassment by beach operators, parking boys, and hawkers.
9. Diplomatic Police Unit
- The Diplomatic Police Unit cooperates with embassies and diplomatic missions on security matters.
- They provide both mobile and static security for diplomats in the country.
10. Maritime Police Unit
- The Maritime Police Unit traces its origins to the pioneer Kilindini Port Police in Mombasa.
- A security survey in 2007 established that Kenya may be vulnerable to attacks and crime through the ocean and lakes.
- The Maritime Police Unit was then set up to secure Kenya’s water lakes and sea.
- This has helped improve national security through the interception of small arms, and illegal movement of persons, among other threats.
- The Maritime Police Unit also carries out search and rescue operations inside Kenyan waters.
- Maritime Police Unit has helped in stopping the flow of drugs and narcotics into the country.
- The Maritime Police Unit has the following detachments;
- Kilindini Detachment
- Lamu Detachment
- Kisumu Detachment
- Port Victoria detachment
- Lake Baringo Detachment
- Its headquarters remain at Kilindini Port in Mombasa.
11. Maritime Police Unit
- The National Disaster Management Unit is responsible for assisting Kenyans stricken by disasters such as floods.
- They airlift victims for treatment as well as evacuation to safer areas.