• Has made an impact everywhere he has been posted.
• Residents say he has curbed brewing of illicit liquor and murder of sex workers.
Gilgil residents in Nakuru county threw a surprise birthday party for their OCS, Albert Kipchumba, as he turned 43. The residents and the officer’s colleagues had been planning the party for weeks.
The chief inspector started his day as usual—serving residents and making patrols. At 5pm he received a call from a friend with a ‘tip’ on where he could bust ‘criminals.’
“I was told there was a group of young men using ‘bhang’ in one of the clubs. After work, my friend Wahinya picked me up [to take me] to the scene,” Kipchumba said.
“He asked me to leave behind my two phones and use one so I could not be easily detected as a police officer.
“I sat in a poorly lit corner and in the twinkle of an eye, people poured more than 200 litres of cold water on me, from left, right and centre. I was shocked, terrified as I shivered not knowing the next move.
“I did not comprehend what was happening. My mind wandered far until one of them shouted ‘happy birthday’ and they all started smiling. That’s when I tried to calm down.”
The residents included members of the community policing team and the business community. Kipchumba has served at the station for 11 months.
There was cake and plenty of food to go around. His friend Erastus Wahinya, aka chairman, organised the party.
“I coordinated and managed to convince him and he fell into the trap. More than 60 people attended and he could not believe it,” Wahinya said.
Kipchumba said, amid laughter, “They even picked clothes from my house. Unfortunately, they packed one sock instead of a pair.”
Those present praised the OCS for the low crime rate since he was posted to the area.
They said he has curbed brewing of illicit liquor and murder of sex workers. They said he is sociable and engages the community in fighting crime.
Wahinya said, "The OCS loves curbing illicit brew and drugs and I knew that if I could trick him that there are youths who normally smoke bhang at a certain eatery, he will definitely want to ambush them.
Kipchumba was grateful for the surprise. “I now know that I have a family in Gilgil. My family is far, hence, I did not expect such a surprise. I’m so overwhelmed," he said.
"People normally come to us when they have a problem, but this one….ah. This is a symbol that the police fraternity has been greatly honoured by this act of appreciation by the public.”
Kipchumba has made an impact in various stations.
Two years ago, Kipchumba was praised by Mandera residents for his friendly and interactive manner. They said he treated them with respect.
This came amidst serious condemnation of the police service for excessive use of force, particularly during the NASA demonstrations and the shooting of 300 head of cattle in Laikipia.
While at Kapsoya police station in Eldoret, he incorporated social media in the fight against crime.
He said young people were not keen on public barazas but could easily be reached on social media. This earned him the title 'The Facebook Cop'.
Inspector Kipchumba has championed the creation of special desks in police stations to handle gender-based violence, particularly when he was in Butula, Busia county.
He was featured on national television for his stand on protecting the rights of the girl child.