As more trading ports were established
in the interior of Kenya and Uganda it more officers
According to Robert Foran (1962), the
earliest history of East-Central Africa provided the
background for the creation of the British East African
Company at the end of 1902.
The British East African Protectorate,
with the exception of the ten-mile wide coastal strip
leased from the Sultan of Zanzibar was proclaimed a
crown colony in July 1920 changing its name to Kenya
Colony, while the title of the force changed to Kenya
It is notable that up to 1907, the
Kenya Police was organized along military lines and
the training was military in nature. In 1906, the Kenya
Police was legally constituted by the Police Ordnance.
In order to improve police performance,
the then Governor, Sir Hayes Saddler appointed a committee
to look into the affairs of the Kenya Police Force.
One of the committee's recommendations
was the establishment of the Police Training School
in Nairobi . In 1909, Captain W.F.S. Edwards noted that
the military element had been promoted at the expense
of police training, as a result of which a training
depot was established in Nairobi in 1911 together with
a small fingerprint section.
The First World War interrupted this
development of the Force in 1914 where the Kenya Police
were deployed in military service to fight alongside
After the end of the war in 1918, the
Police Force began to be reorganized. This entailed
increasing personnel and creating better administrative
and residential housing. During the same period, schools
were established for African Education, thereby improving
literacy in the Force so that by 1940, there were many
literate African officers.
In 1926, the Criminal Intelligence
Unit was established with the sole responsibility of
collecting, tabulating and recording the history and
data of criminals, undesirable and suspicious persons.
In the same year, the Railway Police
Unit was also established to specifically deal with
prevention and detection of offences in the railways
from the coast to Kisumu, including Kilindini Harbour
and branch lines.
As the years progressed, the scope
of police activities increased. It was called upon to
deal with traffic problems such as accidents and parking.
The police were also called upon to deal with cattle
rustling in the countryside.
In 1946, the Police Force was placed
under the office of the Attorney General. The police
officers' powers were increased, and to cope with the
new development, a new Police Training Depot was opened
As a preparation for the Second World
War, the recruits were deployed in Northern Frontier
Districts to counter the threat from Italian Somali
Land and Ethiopia . In addition to fighting alongside
regular soldiers, the Kenya Police acted as guides,
interpreters and carried out reconnaissance missions
in the enemies' territories.
In 1948, several important developments
were made in the Force. The Kenya Police Reserve Emergency
was formed as an auxiliary of the Force. This Unit used
armored cars and was deployed in trouble spots. To improve
the effectiveness of crime control, a dog section was
also introduced in 1948 and the General Service Unit
established and deployed in troubled areas in emergency
In 1949, the Police Airwing was formed
to carry out duties of communication and evacuation
of sick persons to hospitals and was made part of the
permanent Police Force in January 1953.
After the declaration of the state
of emergency in 1952, there was an immediate increase
in personnel to cope with the situation and in response
to the Mau Mau insurgency. In 1953, a commission was
formed to review the organization, administration and
expansion of the Force.
In 1957, the Police Headquarters building
was opened and in 1958 the Force was integrated within
the Ministry of Defense. In the period prior to independence,
the Kenya Police was greatly involved in the maintenance
of law and order during political meetings and at the
height of the independence election period.
After Kenya gained her independence
from Britain on 12 th December 1963 , there was a need
to make some drastic changes in the Administration of
the Force. This led to the replacement of the expatriate
officers in the senior ranks by Africans. Since then,
the Force has realized tremendous achievements in various
fields of operation.