Nairobi — When he joined the Kenya Police Force 32 years ago, it was because he wanted to put criminals behind bars and keep Kenyans safe.
And as he took the oath of office in front of Chief Justice Willy Mutunga to become Kenya's first Inspector General of Police, David Kimaiyo made this the outstanding pledge of his four-year non-renewable term.
He warned criminals, drug dealers, carjackers, kidnappers, criminal gangs and terrorists that they have "nowhere to hide and you cannot win. We shall hunt you and bring you to book."
His appointment comes at a time when the country is facing major security threats especially from the Al Shabaab militia who have terrorized and maimed a number of Kenyans by use of explosives.
Kimaiyo, who is a career police officer having risen through the ranks to serve as Presidential Escort Unit Commander, General Service Unit Commandant and Director of Operations at Police Headquarters, promised to serve all Kenyans fairly and improve police welfare.
Until his appointment to the new post, he has been the Director of the Kenya National Focal Point on Small Arms and Light Weapons.
Kimaiyo assured Kenyans that under his watch, security will be enhanced to ensure that Kenyans exercise tolerance.
"I assure all Kenyans that the security of each individual will be taken care of under my regime," said Kimaiyo.
Kimaiyo will also encounter the challenge of containing violence that has rocked several parts of the country.
The newly sworn-in IG hit the ground running saying that the next two months will be critical in laying the ground for provision for proper security ahead of the March 4 polls.
"I assure all Kenyans that the National Police Service shall deal very firmly with any person who will attempt to sabotage the holding of peaceful; elections in Kenya. We shall not tolerate any acts of violence during this important period," he said.
The IG hinted that he may re-deploy officers from VIP protection and clerical work at stations.
"There are numerous officers who are performing mundane duties that do not directly relate to keeping Kenyans safe. I would like to see more officers on the frontline protecting Kenyans. We should never be accused of serving the high and mighty in society at the expense of ordinary mwananchi," he stated.
He said he will work together with the National Police Service Commission and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority to lobby the national government and national assembly for adequate financial allocation to ensure the welfare of officers in terms of remuneration, proper kitting, housing, transport, equipment, medical cover and other requirement are catered for.
"The existing police pay structure is archaic, it has not factored in the tremendous changes in police responsibilities over the years," said Kimaiyo.
The Inspector-General stated that he will in turn require police officers to be proactive in solving problems of insecurity in the country instead of merely complaining about it.
"As a career officer I have always felt that policing is one of noblest professions that a person can undertake." He added, "I can say with confidence that dedicated police work can bring one incredible rewards and responsibilities. Police officers should feel very proud of what they do; it is a calling."
The Inspector General of Police is a new post created in the Constitution to oversee operations of both the regular and administration police services. The IG will be deputized by two officers in charge of each of the two police arms.
The appointment of the two deputies has encountered resistance after the President and Prime Minister settled on two men, creating a legal limbo as the law says one of the three positions must be occupied by the opposite gender.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga challenged Kimaiyo to speed up reforms in the police department especially during this period when the country is nearing the elections.
"I challenge you to speed up reforms in the police department to ensure that the police are at par with the reforms as required by the constitution," said Mutunga.