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Afghan Border Police welcome training, share best practices

By US Army 1st Lt. Veronica Aguila 
117th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment  

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan  (Nov. 10,2012) — Afghan Border Police (ABP) members with the 4th Kandak, 3rd Zone ABP received instruction on police evidence collection and handling during a training session held at the 4th Kandak Headquarters in Kandahar province, Nov. 1.

Instructors with Security Forces Assistance Team 11 re-introduced basic police practices, evidence handling and assessed the participants’ current level of policing knowledge to develop future training scenarios specific to the Kandak’s area of operation.

“The goal for the training is to see what the ABP know and see what they need to improve on,” said 1st Lt. Ralph Miller, a course instructor with SFAT 11. “[The] 4th KDK soldiers seem very confident and knowledgeable in tactical site exploitation.”

The session included instruction on crime scene processing ranging from evidence handling, marking and documentation, to the prevention of cross-contamination. The ABP members dialogued with instructors, often interjecting their best practices and current crime scene procedures. The understanding of the class material by the ABP students surprised instructors, including Miller, who has facilitated similar training events with other ABP Kandaks in the past.

“I was surprised a bit at how knowledgeable they were on training,” said Miller. “My impression of the training was that maybe it was too simple for them. I think that we could have gone with a more extravagant mock crime scene and let them walk us through it.”

Although policemen with the 4th KDK ABP conduct their own internal training on patrolling techniques and enemy apprehension tactics, many have not received specialized evidence-based instruction outside of the police academy. Students in the class are expected to assist at various checkpoints to incorporate the evidence-based policing into operations.

Instructors discussed with the ABP students the next steps in evidence-based teachings such as, how evidence-based practices can support or rebut courtroom testimony, how prosecutors view evidence collection and the effect of improper collection practices on cases.

For future training events, students suggested more in-depth evidence collection, map reading and navigation techniques, but emphasized the need for improvised explosive device mitigation and explosive ordinance disposal. According to the policemen, they have seen an increase in the use of IEDs to disrupt police operations in the area.

“Enemies cannot fight with us because we are too active,” said ABP 2nd Lt. Sayed Wali through an interpreter. “They are just putting bombs for us and IEDs in the roads.”

Wali, along with two other policemen in the class, recently graduated the Explosive Hazard Reduction course Oct. 22, to become trained explosive hazard technicians. The technicians highlighted the value of the course to instructors.

All of this training is important, said Wali. We want to progress in the things that you help teach us. This is so we can do our job very well and so we can protect our country, our people, and our public.