Challenges affecting the performance of police reservists in Kenya: the case of Loima Sub-County in Turkana County
Mutemi, Willy Edward
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The study examined the challenges affecting the performance of Police Reservists in Loima Sub-county within Turkana County. Specifically, the study sought to understand why insecurity was thriving despite continued recruitment of the Reservists in the Sub-county. The objectives of the study were: to examine the performance of the Reservists; to identify the challenges affecting the performance of the Reservists; and to come up with appropriate measures to address these challenges. In order to analyze and address the problem three organizational theories namely Open Systems theory, Theory of Bureaucracy and Contingency theory were reviewed. The Theory of Bureaucracy was considered the most relevant for the study. The study used survey design to collect data from the Reservists. The study population comprised 358 Reservists, with a corresponding sample size of 188. Stratified and simple random sampling techniques were used to select the Reservists. Primary data was collected using questionnaires, interviews and FGDs, while secondary data was collected through thematic review of secondary materials. Primary data was analyzed using frequencies and percentages with the aid of STATA statistical program, while secondary data was analyzed using thematic method. The study established that all the Reservists were male, majority aged between 35 and 44 years, at primary level of education, married and poor. Having youthful people most of who were married presented an energetic and responsible workforce and was seen as an opportunity to improve performance. Poverty and low literacy level were seen as a threat to performance. The study identified and prioritized legal/policy gaps on the basis of their level of threat to effective Reservists performance. These include ambiguity on the procedure on remunerative allowances, lack of clear guidelines on recruitment and deployment, inadequate guidelines on supervision and control, lack of clear guidelines on training, lack of guidelines on medical cover, injury and life compensation and role ambiguity in that order. Additionally, the Reservists level of training in security and policing was found to be very low especially in areas such as community policing, human rights, intelligence collection, peace building and conflict resolution and protection of crime scenes. Training on weapons was a bit better due to frequent use and training. Finally, the study found out that the Reservists level of operational capacity was also very low. This mostly resulted from inadequate supply of uniforms, protective clothing, arms and ammunition, dry food ration and communication gadgets among others. It is clear that these challenges largely contribute to the rising level of insecurity and unless they are addressed continued recruitment of the Reservists will not solve the problem. Recommendations were made on the appropriate measures to address the challenges and improve the performance of the Reservists.