ISAF personnel train with Afghan National Police
October 28, 2010
KUNDUZ, Afghanistan - Afghan National Police and members of the International Security Assistance Force continued their law enforcement training at the 2nd Precinct ANP here earlier this month.
Soldiers of C Company, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team work with a law enforcement professional, or LEP, from Military Professional Resources Inc. and participated in training with ANP members.
Dave Goodman, an LEP instructor, has been coming to the 2nd Precinct and teaching classes with Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Arce, a military police officer assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1-87 Infantry, since the beginning of September. Arce served as a police officer before joining the military.
"All the LEP personnel aren't doing the same thing," said Goodman, who is retired from the Texas Department of Public Safety. "There are some guys down south that are conducting improvised explosive device investigations. It all depends on a unit's needs."
Afghan police gathered with Soldiers outside in an open courtyard and introductions began.
Instructors covered aspects of how to conduct a search and differences in the rules about searching in the United States.
"We share our experiences with you, and you share your experiences with us," Arce said. "That way we all, hopefully, get something out of it."
Each of the instructors gave a 30-minute class with some discussion about what goes into searching a vehicle and searching people.
"Today we're going to talk about checkpoints," Goodman said, "(including) how to search vehicles and how to search personnel."
"The point - it's our responsibility to treat the general public as you would want to be treated," he added. "The majority of people that we are going to be dealing with are honest citizens, and we need to treat them as we want to be treated.
"When can you search a vehicle or a person'" Goodman asked.
"Anytime he looks or it looks suspect," a member of the ANP responded.
Giving examples of the differences between the two countries, Goodman listed reasons a police officer in the United States can conduct a search.
"A search warrant gives you the right to search," he said. "Putting someone under arrest, you have the right to search them for your protection and the protection of those around you."
Goodman also discussed the difference between pulling over a respectable citizen and dealing with someone who is being arrested.
"If someone is a criminal, I like to chase them down and give them a Superman tackle," he said. "We treat people as our friends until they prove not to be. If we treat everybody like criminals, they are not going to trust us and they're not going to help us."
ANP members discussed the instruction after the class and said it was very informative.
"Today we had a class teaching about speaking with people of the community," said Arif, a member of the ANP in Kunduz. "We learn everything from your Soldiers. We've been shown everything clearly."
The classes teach the ANP different techniques so they can change their strategies for different situations.
"This is a benefit for us - the information and the training," Arif said. "This was a good opportunity so we can ask our questions. This training benefits us so much."
During another class session, Goodman covered ANP policies, such as the policy involving use of handcuffs, reviewing to see what policemen already knew.
"Your ANP policy says you can cuff in three different instances," Goodman said. "What are they'"
"When you see someone doing something wrong," one Afghan policeman said.
That is when an arrest can be made, Goodman explained.
Then Goodman asked, "Why does a policeman put handcuffs on someone in custody'"
"To keep them from hurting us or hurting themselves or hurting others," he answered.
Goodman went over the different occasions when use of handcuffs is advised.
"You could handcuff somebody because you are transporting somebody too, especially going long distances," he said.
One ANP member mentioned escape prevention.
"That's the third reason - to prevent escape," Goodman affirmed.
The next section of the class was more hands-on training, with ANP members demonstrating techniques they knew and instructors showing them options they could use, depending on what was available to them.
The Afghan police learned different handcuffing techniques, and they practiced with some of the Soldiers acting as a suspect being placed in custody.
Once a person has the handcuffs on, their safety is the responsibility of the policeman who has them in custody, Goodman said. So it is the officer's responsibility to make sure their blood circulation doesn't get cut off and they do not get further injured while they are in custody.
The Afghan policemen continued to discuss what they learned and talked to some of the Soldiers before they left for the day.
"We learned three kinds of handcuffing: prone position, kneeling position and standing," said ANP 2nd Lt. Hazratullah, from the 2nd Precinct. "Whenever you are facing a big criminal, we learned how to get them, but if they're armed, we should be two to one. If the criminal is not armed and you think you can get him easily, you may be able to handcuff by yourself."
Most of the Soldiers have worked with the precinct for the past three months. There was work to be done from the beginning, but many improvements have been noticed.
"I've seen them observe how we search people," Spc. Alex Finnegan, a team leader with the platoon. "When we are watching them, they make it more of a coalition effort. We're trying to get them to be honest cops and still do their job when we're not there."
Another technique discussed in the law enforcement classes was community policing and making friends with the community as a policeman.
"I did observe an ANP (member) buy a whole bunch of children ice cream," Finnegan said. "It's having a good relationship with your community. I've never seen them care about the kids before."
Progress may be slower in some areas of training than others. Each precinct has its strengths and weaknesses. The job is to capitalize on the strengths and make sure the weaknesses are being strengthened.