In late June, the inaugural class of the Afghan National Police’s “Jump Start” program graduated from the Central Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan. The class consisted of two hundred thirty three Cadets, including four women. Programs such as these signal the Afghan government’s dedication to reorganizing the ANP into a competent and reliable police force that is capable of defending its citizens and providing them with a greater sense of security.
Programs such as “Jump Start” are broadly based upon the Focused District Development police reform program, which was implemented by the U.S.-led Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan, in November of 2007. Under FDD guidelines, each of Afghanistan’s police districts is being individually retrained and reequipped.
The Afghan Ministry of Interior created “Jump Start,” based on the FDD model, to focus specifically on the sixteen police districts of Kabul. “Jump Start” cadets are retrained in all aspects of police work, including practical tactics, such as handling weapons, dealing with improvised explosive devices and administering first aid. Additionally, cadets are receiving training in police ethics and human rights, which will lead to a better relationship with the public.
Before such retraining programs were used, much of the Afghan National Police operated without any formal education and training, utilizing poorly maintained equipment, and lacking even the most basic facilities
FDD based programs are changing the face of the Afghan National Police. Army Col. Michael J. McMahon, the former FDD Commander, has called this format “the first step in breaking the cycle of corruption that really is a challenge here in Afghanistan.” “It’s not just about training,” McMahon said. “It’s about reforming the culture of the police.” As more cadets graduate from “Jump Start” and similar programs, the Afghan National Police will contribute greatly to its nation’s security, accelerating its transition into self-reliance.