The Flying Squad, a specialised unit that struck terror in the hearts of criminals across country, ran its course and became ineffective in discharging its mandate and thus necessitating its disbandment.
According to sources at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters, some of the officers, who were at times accused of being trigger happy, had aged and unable to conduct swift and delicate operations.
“The unit was dreaded and there was need to form a people-friendly unit to deal with the emerging crimes,” the source told K24 Digital.
Instead, DCI head George Kinoti, formed a new unit dubbed Special Service Unit (SSU) whose officers will undergo intense training both locally and internationally to enhance their competencies, skills and knowledge.
As a result, one of the new requirements for officers joining the newly-established SSU must not be more than 35 years and must receive specialised training.
The new unit is tasked with taming the proliferation of contraband and substandard food products said to have hit alarming levels.
The SSU will also deal with armed robberies, kidnappings, motor vehicle theft, and organised crime.
Officers joining the unit are to be trained on food safety, explosives, surveillance and investigations, among other fields.
On Tuesday, Kinoti disbanded the Flying Squad unit and scaled down the Special Crime Prevention Unit (SCPU) to a smaller unit only based at the headquarters in Nairobi.
The SCPU has been renamed Special Service Unit (SSU).
The current head of the Flying Squad Musa Yego is expected to retire in June while his deputy Superintendent Jack Owino has been transferred to Embu as the local DCI boss.
About 85 officers of the ranks of Sergeant, Corporal and Constables were also on Tuesday transferred from the unit and posted to other stations across the country.
In February last year, Kinoti had scaled down the Flying Squad Unit and changed the command line.
The dreaded unit was created after increased carjacking and armed robberies in Nairobi in 1995.