The Administration Police (abbreviated as A.P.) is a paramilitary security unit belonging to the Government of Kenya. It was formed in 1958 when it took over from the Tribal Police, which had been established through an ordinance in 1929.
The Administration Police is a department under the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government. Its headquarters are in Nairobi. The PC Chapter 63 of the (former) Laws of Kenya states that the Police Force includes the force defined in section 2 of the Police Act as well as the Administration Police Force established under the Administration Police Act; Chapter 75 Section 2 states that the term Police officer means either/both a Police officer and/or an Administration Police officer. The Administration Police force is headed by Deputy Inspector Of Police(DIG) Mr Samuel Arachi Mwongera.
The Administration Police has three major units:
- Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU)- Emergency deployment and rapid response unit, headquartered in Embakasi
- Rural Border Patrol Unit (RBPU)- Border patrol and security, headquartered in Kanyonyo
- Security of Government Buildings (SGB)- Responsible for VIP protection and securing vital government installations, headquartered in Nairobi.
The AP is equipped to tackle any eventuality regarding law breaking or emergency. It also has an anti-riot unit, an anti-stock theft unit to deal with livestock theft, a border security unit, and officers to deal with other violations of the law.
Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU)
It is the equivalent of the General Service Unit of the Kenya Police Service. It is also known as Radi (lightning) in Swahili. It is headed by Senior Assistant Commandan[AIG] Mr. Elijah Osondi. Throughout the 1960s it was deployed regularly to fight the shifta menace in North Eastern Kenya. it was also deployed to curb rampant poaching in the 1970s and 80s. It was deployed to combat lawlessness in the northern Rift Valley region in the 1980s The RDU was initially composed of officers seconded from other divisions, as well as APTC (Administration Police Training College) staff and coursemen to specifically counter certain hostilities. Ad-hoc units were also formed within the RDU to address specific localized situations. These include the Anti-Shifta Unit, formed in 1980 and based at Garissa District, the Anti-Bandit Unit, formed in 1986 and based in Tana River and Lamu districts, and the Rapid Anti-Bandit Unit, formed in 1997, and based at AP Training College.
Due to the short term nature of these operations, they were often unsustainable and had limited success. To counter this, the Rapid Deployment Unit was set up in 2000. The Unit receives support through additional tactical training by the U.S. Marines. As a result, it has specifically trained and prepared personnel on standby, who possess ready supplies, transport and support materiel for deployment. The unit receives regular training and refresher courses. It operates independently of Administration Police in their area of deployment, and so it does not affect normal operations.
The unit operates under a commanding officer, and may be deployed to any part of Kenya to respond for a limited duration to any emergency or threat to law and order.