A police chief in Kenya has developed an unconventional way of fighting crime on his city streets — by invoking the power of God and trawling through crime-ridden areas armed only with a Bible.
As jobs go, Chief Inspector William Sifuna has a pretty tough one. He is solely responsible for keeping law and order in Maralal, Samburu County, where gunfights erupt daily and robbery and extortion are common.
Over the years, however, one thing that Sifuna noticed was that most of the crimes are in some way related to the theft of livestock. So, the man who is colloquially known as “the preaching policeman,” decided to employ a Biblically-based tactic when confronting suspects — he would instruct them to return what they stole to the rightful owner, request forgiveness from the person and swear never to steal again.
Immediately, he saw some tremendous results.
Sifuna does not, however, rely on the mere word of the criminals — he also demands that they put together a long-term plan detailing how exactly they will stay out of trouble in the future. It’s a form of policing that is far removed from the methods of many other law enforcement agencies, but it is one that he insists continues to work wonders. To fight crime effectively, he says, you need faith.
“To tackle crime, we need God,” he explained to The Standard. “We cannot do this by ourselves. We need God’s intervention in everything that we are doing as the police force.”
The police chief is also relentlessly dishing out second chances to the many lawbreakers who work the streets of the crime-ridden town. As Christians, he said, we must hold true to the notion that absolutely everyone deserves a second chance, no matter what they’ve done.
“Before I lock them up, I take an opportunity to preach to them or counsel them,” he said. “And when they step out of the cold cells, most of them confess and turn away from crime.”
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