By Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Douglas Mappin
Special to American Forces Press Service
July 1, 2008 - The first class of the Afghan National Police's "Jump Start" program graduated at the Central Training Center here June 26. The 229 men and four women in the class were trained by instructors from DynCorp International, a private military contracting company.
Jump Start is a police training program modeled after the focused district development police-reform program, in which Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan is working to develop a professional, well-trained, fully equipped police force throughout the country. Jump Start focuses solely on the Afghan capital of Kabul and its 16 police districts.
"Jump Start is a process of reforming the way local police officers are trained," said Canadian Superintendant Ray Noble, Jump Start coordinator. "Jump Start picked the best aspects of FDD and utilizes those elements to train police forces in Kabul."
According to U.S. Army Master Sgt. Frank Miranda, Kabul Capital Police Command logistics coordinator for Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan, these new police officers are better-trained than their predecessors.
"From Day One, they are taught police ethics. This type of training is also meant to remove the stigma of the police," Miranda said.
Noble, a native of Fort Francis, Ontario, Canada, and officer in charge of Prince Rupert Detachment, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said applicants for the program must meet strict criteria before being permitted to enroll.
"These students are getting the message," Noble said. "They have been taught how corruption will not benefit them, and that it can even lead to increased violence against them. More importantly, we teach them if they follow their training and the rules, they will have the people's respect."
Jump Start students receive training in the use of firearms, combat tactics, first aid, self-defense, improvised explosive devices, human rights, and the tenets of the Afghan constitution.
"Our students are trained in all aspects of police work. They learn to handle civil disturbances as well as domestic violence," said Col. Hashim, Afghan National Police training deputy. "Our students learn to maintain checkpoints, conduct personal searches and manage crime scenes. They recognize this
is an important job."
Hashim said he is most proud of the four women in the graduating class.
"When Afghans see women in uniform, others will be encouraged to join," he said. "I am sure we will see many more women enrolling in the future."
Hashim, who oversees the training of various ANP programs including Jump Start and the Trauma Assistance Program, said all cities need a secure environment, and Jump Start will provide a valuable service to Kabul's citizens.
"Kabul is our capital city. With the capital buildings, the ministries of Defense and Interior and the embassies all here in Kabul, we need security," Hashim said. "If we have no police, we are not secure."
(Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Douglas Mappin serves in the Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan Public Affairs Office.)