Reinforcing the “local” in Afghan Local Police
Late last year, Belambai graduated their first class of part-time citizen policemen or Afghan Local Police (ALP). These police members then attended their first shura earlier this month with elders from the surrounding villages. The purpose of the shura was to reintroduce the ALP members to the elders after their graduation from training and to allow elders to ask any questions about the ALP program. Following the shura, ALP members distributed humanitarian items that were provided in part by donors from Spirit of America.
Local elders assembling for the ALP shura
The civil affairs team leader who oversaw the shura told me "following the shura, ALP members organized and prepared the villagers to receive humanitarian aid. The ALP distributed bundles consisting of blankets, socks, scarves and one children's cold weather outfit. One bundle was presented to the elder or representative of each household. The ALP received praise throughout the distribution. The distribution of humanitarian aid improved the perception of the ALP as not only members of a local security force, but also as police working in villages to help address the needs of the population."
ALP member shaking hands with an elder after a humanitarian distribution
Many thanks go to all of the Spirit of America donors that helped to increase the legitimacy of the local police through support for their humanitarian aid distribution. Encouraging continual contact between the local police and the community creates a foundation for building stable long-term governance.
Afghanistan Field Rep