Training Police in Afghanistan

Dr. Catherine Norman from the US Center for Naval Analysis released her latest research from Helmand Province in Afghanistan. Entitled “What Do Afghans Want from the Police?,” the research focused on public perceptions and desired end-state for the development of the Afghan National Police.

She found some very interesting opinions from residents of Helmand Province that will impact the transition to Afghan control and the training countries such as ours provide to the Afghan police.



  • The police should be professional – not abusive, undisciplined or (too) corrupt.
  • Police should provide security.
  • Police should have a limited role in criminal investigations.
  • Police should respond to the public’s calls for assistance.
  • Locally recruited police can be a solution or a problem.

”Residents of Helmand find it difficult to imagine,” she concludes, “ 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.”

Follow this link to download Dr. Norman’s entire report.

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About improvingpolice

I served over 20 years as the chief of police in Madison (WI), four years as chief of the Burnsville (MN) Police Department, and before that as a police officer in Edina (MN) and the City of Minneapolis. I hold graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota and Edgewood College in Madison. I have written many articles over my years as a police leader calling for police improvement (for example, How To Rate Your Local Police, and with my wife, Sabine, Quality Policing: The Madison Experience). After retiring from the police department, I answered a call to ministry, attended seminary, and was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church. At the present time, I serve a small church in North Lake (WI), east of Madison. Sabine and I have nine adult children, eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She is also a retired police officer and we both continue active lives.

2 Responses to “Training Police in Afghanistan”

  1. Hello Chief — I like your blog very much, and I’m going to put it on my blog roll; please consider doing the same. I’ve also put your book in my amazon basket. Thanks very much for your comments on Failed Evidence. I’ll be following you. Keep up the excellent work.
    David Harris, U. Pitt. Law School

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