What do Afghans want from the Police? Views from Helmand Province
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) and the international community expect the Afghan police to play a crucial role in maintaining stability in Afghanistan as international troops withdraw. With foreign police trainers, mentors, and advisors remaining in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future, the question of what sort of force they should be training is of increasing importance. The Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) Development Division (C10) at Regional Command (Southwest) requested this study to examine what government officials, community leaders, and ordinary residents in Helmand want from the police, so that police mentors will know where they should focus their efforts. RC (SW) leaders recognized that, unless the Afghan government, community leaders, and public want the type of police force the international community is training, the police force will not be maintained after international forces withdraw.
Residents of Helmand find it difficult to imagine a police force as found in Western countries because Afghanistan has never had community police. Although Westerners consider it self-evident that police should be professional, provide security, assist with law enforcement, and respond to the public's calls for assistance, the view from Helmand is more nuanced. It does not appear that residents of Helmand want the type of police force that is familiar to small-town Americans.