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An Afghan National Police officer takes notes during one of the classes given to the officers during a four-day training cycle at forward operating base Jackson, Jan. 18. These classes are designed to teach the officers their role as police officers and how to implement these tactics while providing security.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jeremy Fasci

Marines training helps Afghan police prosper

30 Jan 2011 | Lance Cpl. Jeremy Fasci

Afghan National Police officers stationed near Forward Operating Base Jackson have been taking part in a four-day training cycles to build their skills.

During these four-day cycles 10-14 ANP, from FOB Jackson and the ANP checkpoints close to it, come together for classes on proper hygiene, ethics, patrolling and searching techniques and spend time on the rifle range.

“We are establishing a program for the ANP to help them prosper in their police work,” said Robert Finch, an Embedded Police Mentor with 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. “The experience level that we can bring to the young police department here allows us to give them a head start instead of starting from the bottom. We can also give them shortcuts to becoming a productive police department.”

Pooling officers from different checkpoints allows the ANP commanders to continue providing security for the people while allowing their junior officers to be professionally trained. The checkpoints where these officers are coming from are vital to the security of the district.

In addition to learning technical and tactical skills during these lessons, they also learn the basic principles of community policing.

“Hopefully we can establish some sort of community relations,” said Finch, 50, from San Antonio. “The community for years has been to the negative side, but the community is responding positively to the police now.”

Understanding the relationship the police have with the community they serve is vital to success in Sangin.

“These classes were important because we learned how we are supposed to treat the people and how that will influence their opinion of us,” said Sgt. Fazilrahman, 19, a police officer in Sangin, from Samangan province. “We can see the results because there are a lot more people in the bazaar, and they are helping the police by giving us information and involving us in the problems they are having in the area.”

Having advisor teams from the United States is an enormous help to the police in Sangin because even though the terrain is different the fundamentals of policing are the same.

“People are people, they want to be treated fairly by the police department,” said Finch. “You have to be professional at all times and they are learning that, they are learning that their job does matter.”