by Magdalene Mukami
Nearly 1780 Kenyan police cadets graduated on Thursday, bringing the number of Kenyan police officers to graduate in April to a record 7210.
"Many diligent, courageous and good officers have made the ultimate sacrifice and given their lives in the defense and protection of life and property," President Uhuru Kenyatta told the graduation ceremony at the General Service Unit Training School in Embakasi.
"Yesterday, again two more gallant officers made that sacrifice," he added, observing a moment of silence in honor of the slain officers.
Four people, including two policemen, were killed by a car bomb outside the Pangani police station late Wednesday.
A Kenya-registered vehicle had been intercepted by police at a roadblock while heading for Eastleigh, a mainly Somali neighborhood of Nairobi known as "Little Mogadishu."
A police car had followed the vehicle to the entrance of the Pangani station when the car bomb went off, killing the two officers and the vehicle's two occupants.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing.
President Kenyatta promised the new police graduates full government support to ensure that they carried out their work effectively.
"I want to assure all the police officers, including the ones who are graduating today, that you have the full support of the government," he said.
"Go out there and work with your fellow Kenyans and respect them while you carry out your duties," he added in Swahili, the national language.
Police spokesman Masoud Mwinyi underlined the importance of the record number of new police graduates in view of Kenya's current security challenges.
"We are looking at the security of the country and the ordinary citizen at large," he told Anadolu Agency. "We believe that the more numbers we have, the better it is for our security and the security of our visitors."
"We are looking at what we call 'surge capacity'," said the spokesman.
"We have recruited a large number of officers, that is, 7210 officers," he added. "Now that the officers have graduated, they will be deployed to the field."
Mwinyi said that before April's recruitment drive the total number of police officers had been above 35,000.
Mwinyi said the thousands of new recruits would help improve the country's security situation.
"Collectively, these numbers are able to issue a very big impact to our field command, because now this will translate into increased patrols, increased police visibility and also improved response capacity by the officers to incidents as they occur," he explained.
Kenya has faced devastating terrorist attacks in recent weeks, with many residents calling for increased police security.
Until now, however, this could not be implemented fully due to the inadequate number of serving police officers.
"We have internationally accepted standards for policing," said Mwinyi. "One of the main targets of the government is to move towards these numbers."