U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec visited the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) at its headquarters in Nairobi on February 11 to donate evidence collection equipment (such as tools to collect blood stain specimens, gunshot residue, rape victim, and suspect specimens). The United States has purchased this equipment for IPOA to use in investigations of police misconduct. As Kenya’s first civilian oversight agency for police misconduct, IPOA’s mission is to keep the Kenyan police services honest by encouraging them to look inward to perform better as well as investigating cases of misconduct when police action has gone awry.
The investigations department of the IPOA is a very important element behind uncovering misdeeds on behalf of the police and bringing perpetrators of unwarranted violence to justice. As well as donating over U.S. $3500 worth of evidence collection equipment, the U.S. Government has supported the investigations department of IPOA by embedding a technical advisor who is a former police officer with 40 years of experience in law enforcement within the unit to help guide the process of setting up the unit. The United States has also pledged to train all of IPOA’s new investigators on the Authority’s unique mandate to look into police misbehavior.