Nairobi — The government has incorporated 592 Narok rangers into National Police Reservists (NPR) to enhance its security coverage of the Mara Reserve.
The move is part of the efforts to improve the operational capability of the reservists who will complement other security agencies in fighting crime in the vast county.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Raymond Omollo, said Thursday during the unveiling of the reservists at the Maasai Mara National Reserve, that the officers underwent rigorous paramilitary training in different training colleges including the GSU Training College in Embakasi, Administration Police Training College, the Kenya Forest Service Training College and the Kenya Wildlife Enforcement Academy for Wildlife Management.
“We note that the status of being a ranger comes with limitations, in terms of equipping, training and operational capacity, of the Maasai Mara security Rangers in handling the rapidly emerging security threats within the reserve,” he said.
He added that the registration of the county Rangers as NPRs was given priority to pave way for other improvements in capacity through training and the provision of improved modern firearms.
In a pioneer partnership pact between the two levels of government, the National Government through NPS has provided 464 guns while the county government has procured operations vehicles and the salaries for NPRs.
“The National Police Reservists have been vetted and approved by the County Security team and trained to take up the new mandate in liaison with the National Police Service Command structures. They will be expected to strictly adhere to the National Police Service Act as well as the Service Standing Orders,” said Ps Omollo.
The Interior PS stated that the vetting and subsequent redeployment of the rangers as NPRs is set to feel the security gaps within the County which continues to face a number of challenges ranging from poaching, perennial human-wildlife conflict, illegal logging, and environmental degradation, especially in the Maasai Mau Forest.
PS Omollo said that the newly commissioned NPRs shall serve under the command of the County Police Commander.
“They will also assist in the multi-agency framework of securing the National Park, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Mau Forest, Loita forest and maintaining a safe and secure environment for visitors to the reserves and any other duties that will be assigned to them,” he said.
The PS however cautioned the recruits against misusing their positions and resources in their custody to harass citizens.
He added that the NPRs will be expected to strictly adhere to the National Police Service Act as well as the service standing orders.
“The NPRs will not be a tool for use by misguided quotas, too, settle differences be it personal or political,” he said.
The officers are drawn from the Transmara East, West, Narok Central, and Narok West Sub-counties.
Responding to concerns raised by local leaders, the PS urged National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) to ensure those engaging in teenage pregnancies, early marriage, and female circumcision face the law.
“This is to put everyone on notice. We must change this trajectory and ensure that our girls are able to go through school so that they can be people like we are today and there is no debate about that,” he said.
Present at the event was the Principal Secretary of Tourism, John Ololtuaa, Narok Governor, Francis Ole Ntutu, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner, Maalim Mohammed, and the Chairman of the Administration and Internal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly Gabriel Tongoyo.