News: Law enforcement professionals aid in Afghan evidence-based operations
Story by Maj. Joel Anderson
KABUL, Afghanistan - Law-enforcement professionals (LEPs) have been training Afghans in Evidence-based Operations to aid in apprehending criminals and insurgents in Afghanistan since 2007. Evidence-based Operations (EvBO) are operations based on evidence collected at the scene of a crime or attack, to include things such as fingerprints, which can be turned over directly to the local Afghan prosecutor at the provincial level, instead of relying on witness statements alone to build a case.
In recent counterinsurgency operations, it became clear that more expertise was needed down at the unit level to better collect and refine evidence for intelligence and it also became clear that some evidence being gathered, including fingerprints and other forensic evidence, was not being analyzed as effectively as possible, which is where the law-enforcement professionals (LEPs) came in.
Evidence-based operations (EvBo) have now become the foundation to help Afghan law enforcement, better handle evidence and capture those responsible for attacks, as well as to deliver actionable intelligence for decisive operations.
According to JIEDDO, the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, the LEP Program was established to provide commanders with retired agents, such as from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and several major metropolitan police departments to help identify, monitor, penetrate, and suppress IED and insurgent networks.
Furthermore, the insight and experience LEPs possess about techniques and patterns of gangs and organized crime have significantly improved commanders' efforts to target these networks.
There are currently almost 200 LEPs in Afghanistan organized into the brigade and battalion-level.
Those assigned to brigade level task forces concentrate on criminal and evidence analysis, to include targeting and tracking insurgents.
These critical enablers have served at least 15 years in a federal law enforcement agency such as FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Secret Service, or even Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).
Battalion-level LEPs, must at least be veterans of a major police force, such as New York, Chicago, St. Louis or Los Angeles – just to name a few, which are all currently represented on the ground in Afghanistan.
In addition, many LEPs have extensive experience working undercover, especially in cases involving large-scale criminal syndicates, which makes them ideal when it comes to helping form partnerships and build networks throughout Afghanistan.
Afghan Special Police Units (SPUs) are directly mentored by Investigative Services Unit (ISU) LEPs to add a better understanding about evidence collection and documentation furthering Afghan capacity in rule of law to build a strong foundation for a better day in Afghan society.