Immediate former boss at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti has written a farewell letter addressed to Kenyans and all police officers. The letter comes after he resigned from his top DCI job. Here is the letter in full:
“Over the last four years, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations has been on a transformation trajectory that has seen the Directorate undergo major transformational changes aimed at improving the services offered to members of the public.
This has been a deliberate effort to ensure that DCI discharges its mandate efficiently and effectively, as expressed by the will of Kenyans in the 2010 constitution and in conformity with established laws. The shift has also been brought about by globalization propelled by rapid advances in technology and an increasingly well-informed society.
It is for this reason that upon my appointment as the Director of Criminal Investigations in January 2018, I assembled a strong team of detectives and we embarked on a process of transforming the Directorate to a professional investigative body, comparable to any established investigative agency across the world.
In order to achieve this, my office worked very closely with the executive and legislative arms of government that fully supported the Directorate towards this endeavor.
We also reached out to local partners in the public, private sector and foreign missions that became our biggest support system in professionalizing the Directorate to a world-class investigative body.
Through this deliberate effort, over 400 detectives received specialized training in diverse fields of investigations in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, China, India, Russia and South Africa among other countries that lead the world, in criminal investigations.
In one such high profile collaboration, the US Department of State and Federal Bureau of Investigation partnered in creating the first Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) outside of the United States.
Under this prestigious programme, 42 detectives drawn from the Anti Terrorism Police Unit underwent a 12-week intensive counterterrorism training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, where I also joined the detectives to inspire them and make Kenya proud.
The establishment of this joint terrorism taskforce began after the al Shabaab terrorist attack on the DusitD2 Hotel after it was established that there was need for a multi-agency counterterrorism investigative force in the country. As a result, there has been a decrease in the number of reported terrorism related cases in the country.
Consequently, those that have been reported have been dealt with expeditiously, resulting to successful conviction of terror suspects, the most recent being the life sentence handed down to Ibrahim Robow, who was one of the main suspects behind the abduction of Cuban doctors in Mandera county 3 years ago.
Today, DCI boasts of one of the best counterterrorism tactical units in the region and across all the security services of our country. The Emergency Response Team (ERT) based at DCI-Anti Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) has been tried, tested and proven to be the most efficient, responsive and resilient among all the specialized tactical units in the country, thanks to this training.
The joint collaboration with the US embassy has also expanded from counterterrorism, to include the fight against trafficking in wildlife and narcotics.
In May 2022, the immediate former US ambassador Eric Kneedler and I addressed a joint press briefing at DCI headquarters, appealing to members of the public to provide information on two suspects who were wanted in the United States for conspiring to smuggle 190 kilograms of rhinocerous horns, 10 tones of elephant ivory and one kilogram of heroin to the United States.
The two suspects were wanted pursuant to a red alert notice issued by INTERPOL, after the U.S Southern District Court of New York indicted them. In a span of three months, both suspects had been arrested by detectives and extradited to the U.S to face justice.
Similarly, the U.K government has also partnered with the Directorate on various fronts, most notably in infrastructure development and in developing the human resource capacity of our officers to deal with modern day crimes.
Recently, the Directorate partnered with the U.K High Commission in the construction and equipping of the multi-million ATPU headquarters at the coast. The ultra modern complex that is the first of its kind in the National Police Service, provides space for detectives to work on terrorism cases, conduct effective investigations and encourage stronger links with the local community that is most affected by terrorism.
Barerly two years ago, the U.K High Commissioner H.E Jane Marriot had in the same venue handed over to the Directorate, refurbished Anti Human Trafficking and Child Protection offices, specialized vehicles and equipment meant to assist detectives in curbing the high number of child sexual exploitation cases at the coast.
Through the National Crime Agency, the UK Government also funded the establishment of an anonymous toll free call centre, where members of the public report incidents of crime anonymously without the fear of their identity being disclosed.
This call centre dubbed #FichuakwaDCI has revolutionized the manner in which crime is reported and acted upon expeditiously, leading to a significant reduction of crime especially in urban areas.
Through anonymous reporting of crime, the Directorate collects actionable intelligence from members of the public from across the country and use it to intercept criminal acts including acts of terror. Which would have had devastating effects if left to occur.
Our relationship with the German Embassy in Nairobi has also been one of the most outstanding in recent years. Through the GIZ programme, the directorate has benefitted immensely through tailor made capacity development programs, generated to address specific challenges faced by our detectives in the course of their investigations.
Through this program, over 1,000, detectives have been trained locally at the DCI Academy in various forensic investigations disciplines, most notably Crime Scene Investigations, which form the foundation upon which every successful investigation is built.
This has led to improved service delivery as the efficiency and effectiveness of our officers in forensic investigations, especially in crime scene reconstruction and evidence management has led to the successful resolution of many crime puzzles.
The GIZ has also equipped our detectives with the contemporary tools and equipment required in modern-day investigations. In June last year for instance, the Directorate received over Sh27 Million worth of forensic investigations kits under this program.
Through the experiences gained from such trainings, the standard of our investigations has improved tremendously, leading to well packaged investigations files that have earned the Directorate convictions in court, thereby delivering justice to victims of crime in a timely manner.
In our quest to be more responsive to the needs of Kenyans, more specialized departments and units have been established including at fully-fledged Homicide department, the Special Service Unit and the Crime Research & Intelligence Bureau, all credited for swift intelligence led operations that led to a reduction in armed criminal activities across the country.
In the increasingly globalized world that we live in today, advanced investigative bodies rely largely on science to solve crime and with the acquisition of the ultra-modern DCI National Forensic laboratory, we revolutionized the manner we manage a crime scene, gather the relevant evidence, analyze it and use the results to nail suspects.
Today, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations stands proud among its peers in the developed world, in offering outstanding investigative services. Across the African continent, DCI is currently recognized as one of the leading investigative agencies, and has in last few years received invitations from various countries to assist in solving crime puzzles.
Recently, ballistic experts based at the DCI National Forensic Laboratory were invited to unravel the mystery of an arms cache that was discovered hidden at a secret location in an archipelagic country located in the Indian Ocean.
Similarly, bomb experts from the forensic bomb disposal and hazardous materials unit have on several occasions been invited to Rwanda, to build the capacity of their counterparts in handling explosives.
Our officers have indeed flown the flag of our country high in many other neighbouring countries including Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan, earning Kenya recognition as a centre of excellence in criminal investigations.
This formed part of the reasons why the Directorate was identified as a shining example in the fight against crime in the continent, leading to my election as Africa’s delegate to the INTERPOL Executive Committee.
It is the first time that Kenya is occupying a seat at the decision making table of the global security body, where key decisions regarding investigation of international crimes affecting 195 member countries are made.
The establishment of a robust Corporate Communications & Public Affairs unit, also ensured that the public was constantly kept abreast on our daily operations, making our communication platforms some of the most sought after sources of security related information, not only in the country but across the world. The interactive social media pages attracted the attention of international media outlets that also told our story, earning the Directorate pride and recognition.
This was a deliberate move to give the Directorate a human face and increase our interaction with the people we serve. Consequently, to further gain public trust and confidence, a modern 3-Star cafeteria that is open to the public was established at DCI headquarters, as a meeting venue to improve our interaction with the public. This was preceded by a complete makeover of the headquarters’ Mazingira Complex that had suffered years of neglect, to a magnificent complex that today inspires our detectives and visitors.
This not only opened up the hitherto closed institution, but also gave the public the opportunity to scrutinize our operations more closely. As a result of the improved relationship with the public, the Directorate attracted collaborations with corporate bodies in the telecommunications, banking and manufacturing sectors, which supported us immensely in our corporate social responsibility programmes especially at the height of the 2020 pandemic
Similarly, the development of individual talents amongst our detectives also contributed immeasurably, in the formation of the DCI Women’s Volleyball team that is among the country’s best performing teams & current Nyerere Cup titleholders as well as the establishment of the DCI Choir that performs in national events.
Undoubtedly, the efforts put in place by my administration in giving the Directorate a human face and professionalizing it to a world-class investigative body have borne the desired results.
I thank the Government and the people of Kenya for the opportunity I had to serve for 30 years, from a police constable to the Director General of Criminal Investigations. I also thank all the foreign missions, stakeholders and partners with whom we have worked together towards transforming the Directorate to a respectable investigative agency.
To all the detectives whom we worked together, I remain greatly indebted to you for your support, as I wouldn’t have made it alone. I bequeath to you a progressive investigative agency whose gains you should guard jealously for the future our country and posterity.
We would not have travelled this far without prayers from Kenyans whose faith inspired and strengthened us no matter how drearily or challenging the times were.