Administration Police (AP) Kenya

The Administration Police Service (A.P.S) in Kenya is a 40,000 strong paramilitary police force. Apart from maintaining law & order and the usual police roles, Administration Police Officers are also highly trained in field craft & tactics, jungle warfare, ballistics, forensics, border & sea operations, and special weapons & tactics. In the event of war or emergency, the Administration Police is capable of being deployed to defend the Country's sovereignty.


The history and origins of the Administration Police can be traced back to around 1902 when the colonial authorities enacted the Village Headman Ordinance to enable penetration of the native areas and bring the natives into the money economy, enforce tax, control movement of people & livestock, regulate agriculture and execute other various social and economic regulations. The Headmen were in charge as Village Chiefs and they reported to Regional Agents. A Headman enforced the Colonial Government's policies at village level with the assistance of local toughs and bullies who took up the role of Native Police. In 1929, the Tribal Police Ordinance was enacted to give legal backing and recognition to the Native Police. They were trained by their respective Regional Agents, most of whom had a military background, and also by elements of Kenya Police and the Kings African Rifles (KAR). In 1958, the Tribal Police Ordinance was revised to the Administration Police Act and the Force grew and developed into the present day Administration Police Service.

Administration Police Officers

Today, the Administration Police Force undertakes National security duties and its operations tackle the current global concerns such as terrorism, illicit arms, human trafficking, illicit drugs trade, piracy among others. The force's core functions are Crime detection & prevention, Border security, Emergency response, Protective security, Enforcement assistance to government departments, Terrorism interdiction, and Apprehension of offenders.

The four major units of the Administration Police which are charged with various functions are as follows:-

Administration Police Training College (APTC), is responsible for providing training to Administration Police and other officers from various Government departments & parastatals. It is also the APTC that transforms recruits from civilians into hardened AP Paramilitary Police Officers. The college which is located in Embakasi off Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) also serves as the logistical hub of the Administration Police Force.

Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU), also known as "Radi" which means lightning in Swahili, the Administration Police RDU is a unit of elite Police Officers who can be deployed to any part of Kenya within a short duration in response to emergencies or incidents that threaten security. RDU Officers receive regular training, refresher courses and additional tactical training from the US Marines. The unit also operates independently from the Administration Police in their area of deployment hence it does not affect normal operations. 

Rural Border Patrol Unit (RBPU), AP Rural Border Patrol Unit is mandated with providing security along Kenya's borders through interdiction of terrorism activities, control of small arms, and reduction of cross-border crimes within and along ports of entry. RBPU has a training unit, the Border Patrol School, and specialized teams known as the Border and Sea Operations Team (BORSOPTS) and a Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT).

Security of Government Buildings Unit (SGB), the AP Security of Government Buildings Unit is charged with the responsibility of providing security to VIPs, Government buildings & installations, and Government's cash in transit. Administration Police SGB Officers can also provide security to private firms subject to conditions of contract for the hire of armed security personnel as stipulated in the Kenya Gazette.

For recruitment into the Administration Police, the Government announces the nationwide National Police Service recruitment to the public through the media. The recruitment exercise is held on the same day throughout the Country and interested persons present themselves at their respective County's venue to be enlisted. Prospective candidates who wish to join must be Kenyan citizens (Kenyan I.D needed as proof), Aged between 18-28 years for KCSE holders & not more than 30 years for university graduates, should be fit in accordance to Police standards, have no criminal record (certificate of good conduct required), and females must not be pregnant. Candidates are also required to present a written application stating their preference to join the Administration Police and attach copies of their original certificates & testimonials.

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