Ochola embarks on major police clean up

John Martin Okoth Ochola, the new Inspector General of Police (IGP) has started effecting changes intended to clean up the image of the police.

Ochola started effecting changes on Tuesday evening when he merged several police units that were seen to be doing duplicated work.

Key among the changes were the emerging of the Special Investigations Unit(SIU), Flying squad, and Criminal case file tracking task force which he put under the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

Prior to his taking over as IGP, on March 15, Ochola had held a series of meetings with police chiefs at the Naguru based police headquarters in which he communicated a number of changes that he intended to do in order to streamline the operations of the police as well as to clean its tainted image.

In the meetings, Ochola is understood to have told the police chiefs that he would not tolerate officers who were holding offices but doing no work and also promised to close departments that were seen to be doing duplicated work.

He also promised to streamline the promotions within the force reasoning that promotions must be based on merit.  He also said the right officers must hold the right offices.

Ochola had made similar pledges when he appeared before the parliamentary appointments committee on March 6.

Some of the units that he reverted back to CID had a number of allegations of involvement criminal against them.

Other changes, the Cyber Crime Unit was reverted back to the Directorate of Forensic services.

“Supervision of the territorial command unit reverts back to the Directorate of Operation, ” Ochola said in his radio message.

Cleaning up the image of the police is one of the key tasks that the minister of internal affairs Jeje Odong said was the major challenge that the new Police leadership to deal with.

“Your first challenge is the negative image that the police has acquired over the past few months. What are you going to do about it?”

“It is a fact we can’t wish away. Like I mentioned in the police council meeting, you need to look into yourselves; that negative image is the biggest challenge you have to deal with,” Odong said during Gen Kale Kaihura’s handover of police leadership to Ochola on March 15.