Administration Police Kenya

Administration Police Service (A.P.)

Administration Police badge

The Administration Police is a 40,000 strong paramilitary police force in Kenya. Apart from the usual police roles, Administration Police Officers are also highly trained in Fieldcraft and Tactics, Jungle warfare, Ballistics, Forensics, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), as well as Border and Sea operations. In the event of war or emergency, the Administration Police is capable of being deployed to defend Kenya's sovereignty.

The origins of the Administration Police can be traced back to around 1902 when the British colonial authorities enacted the Village Headman Ordinance to enable penetration of the native areas and bring the natives into the money economy, enforce tax, control movement of people and livestock, regulate agriculture and execute other various social and economic regulations. The Headmen were in charge as Village Chiefs and reported to Regional Agents. A Headman enforced the Colonial Government's policies at village level with the assistance of local toughs and bullies who took up the role of Native Police. In 1929, the Tribal Police Ordinance was enacted to give legal backing and recognition to the Native Police. They were trained by their respective Regional Agents, most of whom had a military background, and also by elements of Kenya Police and the Kings African Rifles (KAR). In 1958, the Tribal Police Ordinance was revised to the Administration Police Act and the Force grew and developed into the present day Administration Police.

Today, the Administration Police undertakes national security duties and its operations tackle the current global concerns such as terrorism, illicit arms, human trafficking, illicit drugs trade, piracy among others. The functions of the Administrative Police Service are:

  • Preserve peace
  • Maintain law and order
  • Protect life and property 
  • Border control and border security 
  • Provide specialized stock theft prevention services
  • Protection of government property, vital installations, and strategic points
  • Coordinating and complementing Government agencies in conflict management and peace building
  • Apprehension of offenders

Administration Police Officers receive their paramilitary training at the Administration Police Training College (APTC) in Embakasi. AP officers are then incorporated into the three major units of the Administration Police:

Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) - Also known as "Radi" which means lightning in Kiswahili, the Administration Police Rapid Deployment Unit is an elite emergency response unit capable of being deployed to any part of Kenya within a limited period to respond to emergencies or incidents that threaten security. This unit operates independently in their area of deployment so as not to affect normal operations of the Administration Police. AP officers in the Rapid Deployment Unit receive regular training, refresher courses and additional tactical training from the US Marines.

Rural Border Patrol Unit (RBPU) - The Administration Police Rural Border Patrol Unit is mandated with providing security along Kenya's borders through interdiction of terrorism activities, control of small arms and reduction of cross-border crimes within and along ports of entry. RBPU has a training unit called the Border Patrol School with instructors who trained locally and abroad. The AP Border Patrol Unit has two more specialized subunits known as the Border and Sea Operations Team (BORSOPTS) and a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team.

Security of Government Buildings Unit (SGB) - The Administration Police Security of Government Buildings Unit is charged with the responsibility of providing security to VIPs, Government buildings and installations, and the Government's cash in transit. Administration Police Officers in the SGB unit can also provide security to private firms subject to conditions of contract for the hiring of armed security personnel as stipulated in the Kenya Gazette.

For recruitment into the Administration Police, the Government announces the nationwide National Police Service recruitment to the public through the media. The recruitment exercise is held on the same day throughout the Country and interested persons present themselves at their respective County's venue to be enlisted. Prospective candidates who wish to join must be Kenyan citizens (Kenyan I.D needed as proof), Aged between 18-28 years for KCSE holders & not more than 30 years for university graduates, should be fit in accordance to Police standards, have no criminal record (certificate of good conduct required), and females must not be pregnant. Candidates are also required to present a written application stating their preference to join the Administration Police and attach copies of their original certificates & testimonials.



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