KAJAKI, Afghanistan –Standing in front of a small formation at the Afghan Local Police Headquarters in Kajaki Oct. 5, District Chief of Police Fazzulla Akhunzada welcomed 26 new police officers to the force, encouraging them to honor their responsibilities to their communities.
During the graduation ceremony, Akhunzada told the police officers the community will now look to them for guidance and protection and it is now their duty to keep residents safe from harm.
The ceremony marked the end of training for the police officers. For three weeks, the policemen learned weapons handling techniques, suspect detainee procedures, and methods for interacting in the local community.
Advisers with the Regional Command Southwest Special Operations Task Force managed the training; however, instructors with the Afghan Local Police and Afghan Uniformed Police taught the courses.
Sgt. Abdul Hadi, a police instructor with the ALP, said the men have been training for weeks and are ready to defend their homes. He said the men have learned the basics of policing and are ready to serve the people of Kajaki.
For many of the new officers, the mission to serve has long been clear. Throughout much of the war, Kajaki has been a stronghold for insurgents and many of the new police officers are from local villages.
Hadi said many of the local residents were hesitant to work with the Afghan Nation Security Forces due to the number of insurgents within the district. However, as time progressed, the local residents realized the soldiers and policemen were there to make a difference in their daily lives.
Hadi added these changes have led Afghans from the local villages to join the cause and help make Kajaki a more peaceful place to live.
“These newly graduated policemen are some of the oldest sons of the elders in the villages,” said Adul Wali, a local police checkpoint commander.
Wali believes Kajaki will be more stable since the police officers are familiar faces to the locals.
To end the ceremony, Akhunzada proclaimed that he and the other elders were very proud of the policemen for deciding to defend the locals, and he knows they will do a good job and make Kajaki an even better place to live.
“These are your friends and family, so remember that your job is to serve and protect them,” said Akhunzada. “Don’t let insurgents come here and bully them around.”