ANP test police skills in Panjshir

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Written by U.S. Air Force Capt. John T. Stamm Thursday, 07 January 2010 23:51

PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – An Afghan National Police officer from the Shutol district, Panjshir province, Afghanistan, secures a “suspect,” played by U.S. Army Spc. John Picornell, Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team Police Mentoring Team member, while another officer posts security, Jan 6. The scene was part of a training exercise developed by the PMT to test the abilities of the local ANP. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. John T. Stamm, Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs) PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – After one month of intense police skills training, Afghan National Police in Shutol district put their newly acquired techniques to the test in Panjshir province, Jan. 6.

The Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team’s Police Mentoring Team developed and executed the three-hour practical exercise to test what they had taught the Afghan police officers: crime and accident scene management, first-responder actions, search and seizure, and investigative and suspect controls techniques.

“We designed this exercise to be both practical and realistic,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Dustan Johnson, Panjshir PMT team leader. “These scenarios allow the ANP to demonstrate the processes and tactics they’ve learned in situations they are more likely to encounter here in the valley.”

The first scenario involved a simulated vehicle accident with injuries and an argument between the vehicle drivers. The ANP first evacuated the simulated injured person, who was suffering from a broken leg, from the wrecked vehicle. Applying first aid, they made a splint from a cardboard box and secured the leg with fabric, and then loaded him on to a truck for transport.

An investigator was then called to the scene to determine what happened. As the ANP directed real-world traffic around the accident scene, just as they would in a real situation, the investigator mediated between the two drivers before determining who was at fault, then issued a citation to appear in court.

“Their procedures are based on Afghanistan’s Rule of Law, which mimic our own,” Johnson said. “They weren’t trained for this particular situation, but they did the right thing by calling the investigator in. They didn’t break down the scene before the investigator could determine what happened, and that’s what we wanted to see.”

The second scenario involved an anonymous report of a weapons cache and bomb making activities to test leadership and their ability to determine where weapons were stored and what actions should be taken. The ANP entered the building in a tactical manner, breached the rooms, secured personnel and conducted a thorough search.

“They did exactly what we taught them to do,” said U.S. Army Spc. Nick Ferrara, a military police officer from the 410th Military Police Company out of Fort Hood, Texas. “They entered the rooms with authority, applied handcuffs to suspects, and set up a good collection point to hold us until they could sort out the facts.  I feel they had full control of the situation.”

The final two scenarios involved an accidental shooting set up to look like a murder with several suspects, one of them a child, and a simple breaking-and-entering incident. Neither scenario had an apparent culprit and called for extensive questioning and crime-scene analysis.

“These last two focused on leadership and investigative technique,” Johnson said. “We wanted them to go deeper than what appeared on the surface and uncover the truth. That’s exactly what they did.”

Overall, Johnson deemed the exercise a success. Shutol ANP patrol shift commander, Dellagah, thanked the PMT and praised them for the training, saying that it helped make them better police officers and prepared them for situations they are most likely to face.

The training ended with a graduation ceremony, Jan. 7, where each participant received a certificate officially recognizing them as police officers in the Panjshir valley.

PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – An Afghan National Police officer from the Shutol district, Panjshir province, Afghanistan, secures a “suspect” played by U.S. Army Spc. Nick Ferrara, Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team Police Mentoring Team member, during a mock crime scenario, Jan. 6. The scene was part of a training exercise developed by the PMT to test the abilities of the local ANP. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Teddy Wade, Combined Joint Task Force 82 Combat Camera)