23 Oct. 2008
PR# 2008-556

Canadian Mounties share skills with Afghan Police

KABUL, Afghanistan - The security of Afghanistan is dependant on an effective police force. The police spend more time with people in their communities, and are more familiar with the region than other national security forces.

The Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is helping the Afghan people achieve a peaceful and secure country through the training of the Afghan National Police and official government security details.

“The police are key to a stable government,” acting RCMP contingent commander Joe McAllister said.  “If the police are a trustworthy force, then the people will trust their security to the government and not turn to the Taliban.  If the police can improve their image in the community, then it will help improve the government’s image.”

More than three hundred police and other government forces have gone through training at the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team since they started the program in the spring of 2007.  At the PRT, Canadian police supplement the training given at the Afghan National Police that they don’t get at their academy.

“What we’re trying to do is supplement the existing training they are getting at the regional training centers,” McAllister said.  “We’ve assigned a couple of officers to the centers to do a gap assessment.  Eight weeks is not enough time to train a police officer.  We give training here at the PRT to supplement what they already know.”

The Canadian police spend about a week training the ANP covering such topics such as combat shooting, advanced first aid, and improvised explosive device awareness.

“We are here to train a professional police force,” McAllister explained.  “Not everyone is a bad guy here and the police have to engage their community on all levels; not just to fight the Taliban, but also to get to know their community through foot patrols which allows them to interact with people on a daily basis and not just when bad things happen.”

It’s hard work, but the commitment to help extends through the ranks of the program’s training staff.

“I love doing this,” an undercover RCMP officer said.  “I am passionate about training the Afghans in advanced tactics so they can go out and defeat terrorism.  The police are at the pointy end of the spear here in Afghanistan as they are out in the rural areas doing jobs that are normally done by light infantry.” 

The ANP are not the only forces benefiting from the expertise of the Canadian police. Members of the Afghan Security Detail recently completed a four-day course designed to improve their tactics in protective services.

“Providing close protection training to select members of the ANP increases the level of personal security for many government leaders and commanders,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Jeff Hirsch said.  “The intense training sessions bond the close protection teams together and give them basic skill sets to properly plan routes and site visits which will hopefully enhance their mobility throughout Kandahar Province.  The police selected for this training are highly motivated and often show up early, stay late.”

“We learned a lot of things this week,” Government body guard Mohammed Shaker said.  “I wish we had more time to train with the Canadian police and I hope to train more with them in the future.”

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/