|Motto||Protecting and serving the people of Kent|
|Annual budget||£257.9 million|
|Operations jurisdiction||Kent (including Medway), England|
|Map of Kent Police's jurisdiction.|
|Size||1,433 square miles (3,710 km2)|
|Legal jurisdiction||England & Wales|
|Headquarters||Police Headquarters, Sutton Road, Maidstone|
|Constables||3,553 (of which 268 are special constables)|
|Police Community Support Officers||377|
|Police and Crime Commissioner responsible|
The force covers an area of 1,443 square miles (3,740 km2) with an approximate population of 1,800,000 (roughly 1,600,000 in Kent, and 250,000 in Medway). The Chief Constable is currently Alan Pughsley, QPM who was appointed in 2014. Kent Police was the first force in the United Kingdom to be led by a black Chief Constable, Michael Fuller QPM, who was in office from 2004 to 2010.
Due to the Channel Tunnel, Kent Police is unique among English forces in having a police station outside of the country, in Coquelles, France, staffed by Kent Police. Kent Police work with other UK and European forces as part of the Cross Channel Intelligence Community, helping to tackle cross-border crime. The cross channel traffic occasionally causes Kent Police and the Highways Agency to enforce Operation Stack, controlling the freight flow on that part of the M20 motorway closest to the ports. Kent also has the largest strategic road network of any force in the UK, covering four motorways.
The Port of Dover maintains its own independent police force, the Port of Dover Police, however, Kent Police has statutory responsibility for policing the entire county and will take over primacy of serious investigations and incidents within the port when appropriate.
On 14 January 1857, a 222-strong Kent County Constabulary was formed under Chief Constable John Henry Hay Ruxton. The first headquarters was at Wrens Cross, Stone Street, Maidstone, and was rented for use by the police until 23 November 1860 when the force purchased it for £1,200. It was responsible for policing those parts of the county not already under the jurisdiction of local Borough police forces.
In 1860, the initial uniform of a frock coat and a high hat was replaced by a long uniform tunic and shako hat and constables were issued with a rattle and truncheon. In 1885 whistles were introduced and in 1897 the recognisable custodian helmet was introduced. In 1974 the familiar Cox Comb helmet replaced the Rose Top helmet with a new helmet plate.
On 1 April 1889, Kent County Constabulary absorbed the borough police forces of Deal, Hythe, Faversham, Sandwich, and Tenterden, five of the fourteen local police forces that then policed boroughs within the county of Kent. The remaining nine were absorbed on 1 April 1943, these being the borough forces of Dover, Folkestone, Gravesend, Maidstone, Margate, Ramsgate, and Tunbridge Wells, together with the Canterbury City Police, and the Rochester City Police. Ruxton retired on 14 August 1894 and died on 20 April 1897.
In terms of mobilisation and communication, Kent Constabulary purchased 20 bicycles in 1896, a number which rose to 129 by 1904. Telephones were given to village police constables in 1925 and by 1931, 29 motorcycles had been introduced, along with one police car. The constabulary employed horses until 1943, when the last was retired. This horse was called Bess.
In 1965, the force had an establishment of 1,988 attested constables and an actual strength of 1,766, making it the third largest county force in Great Britain.
Kent County Constabulary was the last British force to keep the word "county" in its official title. It changed its name to Kent Police in 2002. The main argument for the change was that the large number of visitors coming through the Channel Tunnel and the ports would understand the word "Police" more readily than "Constabulary". 
After years of personnel cuts announced in 2010 and starting in 2011 that saw officer numbers fall from a peak of almost 3,800 in 2010 to under 3,200 by 2016, it was announced in March 2018 that Kent Police would launch the largest recruitment campaign in its history aiming to recruit over 200 more officers over the next one to two years. This was made possible due to an increase in the tax funding the police receive from county residents. The campaign has so far been successful with dozens of new constables passing out in 2018 with dozens more undergoing training into 2019. Once completed the campaign should bolster the number of sworn constables in Kent to over 3,400.
It was further announced in January 2019 that the PCC Matthew Scott was proposing another tax increase in the 2019/20 period in the amount of money Kent Police receive from county residents in order to recruit a further 180 officers by 2020. If this proposal is approved and additional officers are recruited this would take the total number of sworn officers in Kent to upwards of 3,600 by 2020. This tax increase for 180 additional officers was approved in February 2019 and as of early 2020 have since all been recruited into the force bringing the total number of sworn officers to just over 3,600.
As part of the national campaign announced by the government in late 2019 to recruit 20,000 more police officers across all of the 43 police forces in England and Wales by early 2023 it was announced that Kent would receive government funding to recruit 147 officers in the first wave of 6,000 in 2020 with the other 14,000 expected in 2021 and 2022. Additional funding for 34 more officers was also underwritten by the police crime commissioner bringing the total number of extra funded officers in 2020 to 181. When all recruited these additional officers will bring the total number of sworn officers in Kent to just over 3,800 by early 2021 giving Kent Police it's largest amount of officers since the force was formed. 
X26 Tasers were introduced to Kent police in 2009 for rank and file officers, although only Response vehicle drivers were issued with them. Each Response vehicle had to be double crewed with both crew members carrying Taser due to the safety implications, and to allow proper care and control of a Tased individual. In March 2019 it was announced that all frontline officers in a public-facing role who could regularly face violence in the course of their duty will be able to volunteer to undertake taser training and carry a taser whilst on duty if they choose to. Presumably this would mean at least all officers who conduct patrol and emergency response duties would be able to undertake taser training. This measure is partly due as a result of a large increase in weapon crime in Kent and throughout the country as a whole. In 2017 new two-shot X2 tasers were approved for use by officers and have gradually replaced the older single-shot X26 models.
Until November 2011 the force was formed into six BCU's, as shown below:
Plans to reduce the six BCU's to three divisions were drawn up in 2010 The new force Divisions came into being when the existing BCU's were formally dissolved in November 2011, they are structured as follows:
Neighbourhood policing will be carried out at a district level with an extra 400 constables transferred into it. Crime investigation and emergency response will be managed at a central level from the Force Command and Communication Centre. Specialist functions will remain centrally managed.
On 6 April 2011 it was announced that the 3 new areas will each be commanded by a Chief Superintendent and Superintendent. Each individual town within each area will be commanded by a Chief Inspector. All emergency response handled from HQ in Maidstone. All response officers will be Standard and Advanced level.
Kent Police cancelled their last scheduled intake of trainees for the Regular (paid) force in February 2011. They were due to commence their training at the end of March.
In a report published by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in July 2011, the impact on the number of police officers and staff partly due to the reduction to Kent Police's budget following the comprehensive spending review is as follows:
|Police officers||Police staff||PCSOs||Total|
|31 March 2010 (actual)||3,787||2,673||387||6,849|
|31 March 2015 (proposed)||3,274||1,858||364||5,496|
As of 5 September 2019:
In December 2010, former Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Leppard left Kent Police to take over as Commissioner of The City of London Police, replacing Mike Bowron QPM.
Essex Police and Kent Police set up a joint Serious Crime Directorate (SCD) in 2010, to help share intelligence.
From 1857 to present.
The 2010 Channel 4 documentary Coppers highlighted the work of the Kent force in two of its episodes. Episode 1 showed the work of the officers and staff at Medway's custody suite and episode 3 showed the force's call centre at Maidstone and the emergency response officers in Medway BCU.
The 2010 book Stab Proof Scarecrows  is written by a former police constable who served with both Kent and The City of London Police. It is highly critical of both Kent Police and the situation of policing in general. In 2010 then-Assistant Chief Constable of Kent Police, Allyn Thomas sent a letter to every officer in the force reassuring them that senior officers did not give the book any credibility. 
In 2006, Kent Police dealt with the biggest cash robbery in the history of British policing - the Tonbridge Securitas depot robbery. Kent police investigated the theft of £53m, with six men being sentenced to a total of 156 years imprisonment.
In June 2007 Anne Sanderson was shot dead by an armed officer in Sevenoaks, Kent after being seen with what was later identified as a ball bearing gun. It was the first fatal shooting of a woman by UK police in 27 years (and first time ever that the shooting was deliberate). A subsequent IPCC investigation and an inquest jury returned a verdict of lawful killing.
The Police Memorial Trust lists and commemorates all British police officers killed in the line of duty, and since its establishment in 1984 has erected over 38 memorials to some of those officers.
The following members of Kent Police are listed on the Roll of Honour:
S/Insp George Moore, SC John Olive, PWRC Henry Kettle, PC Ronald Parker, S/Sgt Reginald John Rogers, SC Arthur Edward Potten, SC Ernest Albert Farrow, SC Frederick Walter Heine, SC Richard Daniel Jay Wills, PC Cecil George Constable, PMS Edward John Toomey, SC William George Warner, S/Sgt William Albert Bransby, SC George Ernest Russell, PC Sydney Russell, SC Harry Thomas R. Pankhurst, PWRC Frederick Chapman, Sgt William George Braddick, SC Frederick James Collard, PWRC Albert Robert Gibling, SC Robert Wheeler, Sgt William George Dickinson, SC Frederick Johnson