Do not ignore cries by police officers
The National Police Service is once again in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.
A video posted on social media platforms shows a police woman and a second person also thought to be an officer, singing a song of lamentation about alleged injustices in the service.
The song was recorded and released despite a stern warning by Police headquarters that officers who resort to social media to air their grievances risked serious disciplinary consequences.
Being a disciplined service, the defiance raises a red flag, especially at this time when the country is not only approaching the electioneering period but also experiencing a surge in crime.
Whether it is a case of indiscipline or a serious cry for attention, immediate action needs to be taken and issues raised by disgruntled officers addressed expeditiously without further harming the entire police fraternity.
With rising cases of suicide and killings among officers, the top command needs to act fast to get to the root causes of this trend.
Officers are the guardians of peace and should at all times set a good example to the public by conducting themselves in an irreproachable manner, on and off duty.
Urgent action should be taken against undisciplined officers while senior officers who harass their juniors should also be held to account. Administrative action should be expeditious, efficient, lawful, reasonable and fair.
There is also need to improve communication within the service as increased use of social media is partly attributed to frustration at the work place, communication breakdown, and reports that some complaints are either never investigated or take too long to be addressed.
The Police headquarters, for example, took too long to investigate allegations by a former Traffic officer against a senior commander in Nyanza region.
The officer raised pertinent issues that ought to have been probed expeditiously and appropriate action taken.
Police regulations require that senior commanders are responsible for the welfare of those serving under them, and identify reasons for discontent and poor morale, and remedy them.
If practised well, cases of disgruntlement would go down drastically.
Work-related stress can also be addressed by strengthening the Police Chaplaincy Service to provide counselling to officers, promote moral values, provide spiritual guidance and offer psychological debriefing after operations. Indeed a well-regulated and motivated police service is good for everyone.