More than 300 Nakuru County inspectorate service officers, popularly known as kanjos, have undergone training which seeks to help fix the unit’s bad reputation.
The move comes as Nakuru town is awaiting to be handed a charter to become a city after the Senate approved its application for elevation two months ago.
The enforcement officers are infamous for their ruthless handling of residents and hawkers accused of various offences, especially in Nakuru and Naivasha towns.
The officers have undergone a series of trainings which target to create a friendly enforcement service.
Currently, over 100 officers are undergoing training at the Kenya School of Government in Baringo.
A month ago, they also underwent a four-day training in Nakuru.
According to Training and Public Service Management CEC Jacqueline Osoro, the training is part of a grand plan to ensure the enforcement officers exercise the highest level of professionalism.
"The training is aimed at ensuring the enforcement officers serve the public with utmost integrity, especially as Nakuru nears city status once it is awarded a charter. We want to introduce a new culture of integrity and professionalism,” stated Osoro.
"Cities around the world are more diverse as they attract communities of different nationalities, faith and ethnicity, so officers must be professional and ethical,” she added.
She was speaking during a training for the enforcement officers in Nakuru town.
Ms Osoro revealed that more trainings are lined up in order to help the enforcement officers interact professionally with different people including visitors, hawkers, tenants and the general public.
“The county is in talks with the National Youth Service for a tailor-made programme to make the enforcement unit better,” added Ms Osoro.
Chief Officer Paul Githinji echoed Ms Osoro’s sentiments, saying Nakuru seeks to build a professional and ethical team of enforcement officers.
Streamline enforcement team
"Our department will continue streamlining the enforcement team to the desired standards. As Nakuru becomes a city, all eyes are on the county security team who are always frontline officers,” said Mr Githinji.
The Nation learnt that the officers have undergone training on etiquette and disaster management among other things aimed at revamping the team.
They have also been trained on how to use high-frequency communication devices to improve and coordinate their operations.
For a long time, the image of the inspectorate has been that of county vans fitted with rusty grills, sometimes moving against the flow of traffic, in hot pursuit of traders accused of operating illegally in Nakuru town.
In 2019, the enforcement team came into sharp scrutiny after it was accused of rounding up street children and then dumping them in Chemasusu Forest in Baringo County.
But Governor Lee Kinyanjui dismissed a Senate committee report alleging that his administration rounded up and dumped street children in the forest.