Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Afghan police officers graduate

The first class of Afghan police officers to attend a new training centre graduated in a ceremony in Helmand yesterday.

More than 130 recruits of the Interim Helmand Police Training Centre attended the event in the Lashkar Gah district.

The centre was set up last month to help with the recruitment push for 160,000 police officers across Afghanistan by the end of this year. From March, the centre is expected to train 2550 students a year.

Helmand deputy governor Sattar Marzakwal told the graduates: "You have the responsibility of serving the Afghan people with dignity.

"Our people face problems in this country; however, we can solve them because you can solve them."

Brigadier James Cowan, the Commander of Task Force Helmand, said the newly trained policemen were the first step towards a safe Helmand.

"The task ahead is to bring security to Helmand in order to allow development and economic prosperity," he said. "The policemen who graduate today will join the ranks of the Helmand police force, deploying their new-found skills where they are most needed."

Guardsman Michael Harrison, a member of the 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards, was an instructor for the first training cycle.

He said: "To see them actually graduating now is fantastic.

"Training them has actually benefited us just as much as it's benefited them."

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