Afghans, New York Police Department Share Vision for Afghan Policing

New York City Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill speaks with Afghanistan's CEO Dr. Abdullah Abdullah during a meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 10, 2018. O'Neill met with several senior Afghan officials during his visit to discuss the state of policing in the country and exchange ideas for improvement. (NATO photo by Erickson Barnes)
13 Apr 2018

By: Erickson Barnes, Resolute Support Public Affairs

KABUL, Afghanistan (April 12, 2018) – President Ashraf Ghani, CEO Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and several other senior Afghan officials met with New York City Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill here this week to discuss the state of policing in the country and exchange ideas and best practices.

"It’s a group of dedicated people,” said O’Neill. "I am tremendously thankful for what they do each and every day.”

The commissioner and his team also met with Minister of Interior Affairs Wais Ahmad Barmak, National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar, Director of National Directorate of Security Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai, as well as representatives from the Attorney General’s office.

"The ministry has a strategic plan for the next four years,” said Barmak. "In the past, nobody trusted the police. We had a baseline and have set some indicators. If we compare the police of today with eight months ago; I cannot compare it even. The police have changed; the institution has changed. We are in stage one of the reforms, which starts in Kabul.”

"I think it’s a good starting point. They have a lot of challenges ahead,” added O’Neill. "There are literacy issues, pay issues and equipment issues that all need to be dealt with. If they follow through with what they’re saying they want to do, I think progress will be made.

"Policing is a big ship to turn.”

Following meetings with Afghan and NATO leaders of Kabul Security Force (KSF), the visiting group received a briefing on Afghanistan’s Special Police Units and observed a training exercise by Critical Response Unit 222 at Camp Lion. Topics covered by Kabul Security Force (KSF) and Police Special Units (PSU) included fighting corruption, transitioning from a defense force to a police force, unity of command, crisis response, training, and general policing tactics, among others.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) delegation included Deputy Commissioner John Miller, Lieutenant Seamus McHugh, Lieutenant John Slevin, Lieutenant Christopher Zimmerman and Detective John Fogelman, completing a group with more than 150 years of combined policing experience, O’Neill pointed out during the visit.

 

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