On a warm Friday morning, seven police officers stood stiffly outside their commandant’s office
It was a happy day for them – the day they were finally earning a much coveted promotion.
As the Administrative Police commandant pinned the insignia on their sleeves, one of the officers could not hold back his tears.
53-year-old Joshua Chebon had just been promoted to the rank of Police Corporal.
There was a difference between him and the other six newly-promoted police officers. The father of five was receiving the promotion after 30 years of waiting.
It came just when he was beginning to think he would never get it.
The man who joined the police service way back in 1987 by sheer luck and determination after failing to clinch a place in high school says the well-earned promotion came as a pleasant surprise.
Working with others with better academic credentials than himself, Mr Chebon concentrated on his duties, trying hard to keep his morale up as years passed by without any promotion.
“This is God’s making. I have worked for many years and stagnated at the same position. I wanted to be considered for a higher rank before attaining the mandatory retirement age of 60 years,” said Chebon.
He sat his Certificate of Primary Education (CPE) examination in 1982 but was not able to join secondary school because his family could not raise the fees.
With all the odds set against him, young Chebon became a herdsboy, grazing livestock in parts of Baringo and West Pokot counties to earn a living and help his elderly parents.
One day while out in the fields, he learnt of a planned administration police recruitment exercise and summoned enough courage to attend.
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“Though I was not educated (past Class Seven), I went for recruitment and succeeded,” he recounts.
After successfully completing the rigorous AP training at Embakasi in Nairobi, Chebon was posted to West Pokot to begin a long career in the Police Service, a career that took him to some of the most volatile trouble spots in the country.
The herds boy-turned police officer never looked back.
His dedication to service earned him accolades.
In 2003, he received a special commendation for helping recover property worth Sh2 million that had been stolen from an agricultural training centre in Nakuru.
While serving in West Pokot in the 1990s, Chebon was part of a team that recovered thousands of livestock stolen by armed bandits.
The secret to being a good police officer, he says, is discipline and dedication.
“I have always performed my work with dedication,” he says.
Asked why he had not enrolled for higher education, Chebon said he has been too busy in field operations to go back to class.
Besides, he has younger siblings he is supporting through school.
Even after bagging the promotion, Chebon says he is not about to give up on his sense of duty and discipline.
The others who were promoted to various ranks were Joseph Muteti, Kenneth Mwakio, Lydia Maki, John Njoroge, Irene Maketi, and James Maina.
The Nakuru East sub-county AP commandant, Superintendent Barnabas Kimutai said the officers earned the promotions through exemplary service.
“They have been disciplined, a virtue that improves service delivery,” he said.