On this day eight years ago, four masked gunmen walked into Westgate mall and laid a cowardly attack on unarmed shoppers.
As a result, innocent lives were taken and several people injured.
Westgate served us important lessons. It has been a period of reflection and strengthening our capacity as a Service. We sympathize with the families that lost their loved ones. It is this painful loss that pushes us to stretch our limits in protecting Kenyans and their properties.
We thank our gallant men and women who placed their lives on the line to save as many people as they could. Chief Inspector Stephen Lelei and teams of Special Units became instant heroes for their brevity and precision in neutralizing the threat. We still remember our gallant men and women who paid the ultimate price.
Over the past eight years, the service has employed over 40,000 new police officers. This added to the 24,000 additional Administration Police officers deployed into General Duty after the recent NPS merger has improved our numbers immensely. Consequently, we have had enhanced police presence in our security installations across the country.
Further, the Service installed a reliable surveillance system in major towns and cities and procured modern security equipments. We have also improved individual capacities of police officers and stakeholders by training of police reservists, enhanced training to special units, decentralization of special units to counties, sector-based highway patrols with a seamless command, police escorts in insecure areas, provision of ordinary police vehicles and specialized carriers.
Our investment in community policing and nyumba kumi initiative has also enhanced cooperation between police and the public. So far this has continued to build trust and has led to more information on terror and organized crime from the public.
NPS has also unveiled a robust and grassroots countering of violent extremism by networking with communities in preventing terrorism and building resilience in communities.
Unlike in the past, multi-agency cooperation within the security apparatuses improved. This coupled with an efficient command structure and intelligence led approaches has greatly enhanced our operational readiness.
So much has been going on in the background to protect Kenyans and their properties. This is a vow we took. This is a promise we have kept. We shall achieve more when we join hands as Kenyans.