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  1. #1
    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
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    Default Assessing the Police

    The context of this RFI is a planning project concerning Security Force Assistance (SFA) with the Iraqi Police.

    The Joint Center for Security Force Assistance Planners Guide gives advice on assessments methodologies and process, as does their Assessments Handbook. What it does not give however are specific criteria that could be used.

    The police in Iraq and Afghanistan were often used as the Hold force and viewed and assessed as such. Criteria were based on DOTMLPF-P and with a focus on equipment and training.

    When assessing police elements from a different policing culture and in a COIN/Stabilisation context are there any useful police specific assessment criteria that we should be seeking to capture? Response times and detection rates are probably not relevant, but what is?
    RR

    "War is an option of difficulties"

  2. #2
    Registered User JohnBertetto's Avatar
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    If I'm reading your post correctly, you're asking by what criteria do we measure or evaluate local LE success. If this be the case, then there are two broad categories within which we must have criteria.

    The first is most common, easiest to measure, and you've already mentioned. Response times, arrests, traffic citations, etc are all criteria used to evaluate category one: organizational competencies. Much has been written about these and many are most familiar with these, so I will leave them alone.

    The second category is organizational legitimacy. These are more qualitative in measure.

    1) Evaluation of Organization Demographics: Who is applying and who is being hired? In many cultures, where one or two demographics have dominated the political/government landscape, examining who is applying will show how the population views LE as both profession (can I make a living here?) and organization (is this a legitimate organization, i.e. one where I can work at all?) Mandated diversity requirements are of little utility; a natural trend toward diversity shows an organization that is viewed as legitimate. Just as important as who is applying is who is being hired. This shows the organization's beliefs on diversity and population inclusion. Hiring diversity will increase perceived legitimacy and application diversity. It works much slower and much less effectively the other way around.

    2) Increases in Calls for Service. Are people calling the police to report crimes? In cultures where justice is often viewed as a mix of honor and vengeance, increases in calls for service are a sign of major shifts in the population accepting LE as both legitimate and competent.

    3) Increases in Voluntary Reporting of Crime. This category is distinct from calls for service: calls for service typically involve criminal activity that directly (it happened to me) or close to (it happened on my block) the caller; it has impact on their immediate life. Voluntary reporting are calls regarding information about criminal activity that does not typically affect the caller directly (think: TV tip lines). This is also a measure of acceptance of legitimacy and competency, but important for the fact that many people will call when they need help, but fewer call when someone the barely know or don't know at all needs help. It shows that the population accepts that their involvement will be kept - where appropriate - confidential. That is, the police can be trusted.

    4) Population Surveys of Perceived Police Legitimacy. "Survey" can include both formal and informal reports. I've remarked previously that it amazes me we often focus heavily on "quality of life" policing but have almost non-existent qualitative metrics. It should constantly be asked of the population: "How are the police doing?", "How are we doing?", "How do you feel about crime in your community?", "Do you feel safe?" and the many variations of these questions. Quantitative statistics are undoubtedly useful, but as we've seen here in the US they mean little if the public doesn't perceive them to be accurate or the police to be legitimate. Of course, once these surveys are conducted, the responses must be acted upon.

    These four criteria are certainly not an exhaustive list, but are required for evaluating local police performance.

  3. #3
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default First thoughts

    My initial reaction was whether evidence-gathering and public service for example after a natural disaster or a dam burst (as recently predicted in Iraq). Counting equipment and base facilities might be easy, whether it enables an operational assessment is very moot. Then what do the units understand their role to be, notably their relationship to the local population?

    Can individual personnel and leaders be assessed using exercises? From the simplest officer selection tests and promotion. Is any testing possible, as a team or individuals? Mobilization testing comes to mind and simple, but often difficult tasks like vehicle checkpoints, arrest and search operations.

    I have - for now - ignored the barriers posed by language, local culture and history. Somehow I expect policing in Iraq has not paid much attention to the public compared to the national / local government. Let alone corruption.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
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    John,

    Thanks for your comments. I am not a Law Enforcement professional, so I found them insightful and certainly food for some follow up work.

    When a unit attends the National Training Center, 29 Palms or the like then the Observer Controllers have a checklist that they can work down that covers the spectrum of Personnel (right numbers, ranks and specialties in the right posts) Equipment (have they the right kit in the right place) and Training (have they done the requisite individual courses for their roles, and mandated build-up training. At the end they have a pretty good feel for where the unit is at the start of training.

    In Iraq and Afghanistan we often had similar check lists for mentors to assist them in evaluating their units. From a military perspective this is all fairly straight forward. But for an Advisor turning up at a police unit or station, what should be on his checklist?

    David,
    The check list is very much focused at the low tactical level, and there are various schemes in the pipeline that may start working at the operational level. I can extrapolate from my military checklist how likely a unit is going to perform and also see easily what it is incapable of doing. I would like to be able to generate something similar for the police.

    I suppose the simple question would be what would a policeman look for if he was assessing a unit? Arrest logs? I like the idea of an assessment exercise.
    RR

    "War is an option of difficulties"

  5. #5
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Red Rat,

    You may find this closed thread helps, particularly the adaption used by Massachusetts State Police SF veterans back home in gang-ridden locations:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=5424

    On a quick read it is conceptual and does not provide the tools you seek.
    davidbfpo

  6. #6
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Some thoughts

    From a ret'd military "lurker":
    My thoughts are:
    1. Is this assessment at the tactical, operational or strategic levels? I suspect tactical/operational (i.e. ‘in the field’).
    2. Identifying the team role is critical – investigation, pro-active, patrol / response or community policing?
    3. Don’t look at the problem purely from the police objectives angle but involve the public to ascertain their perceptions – what do they want their police force to do? The alternative is to consider the police in a quasi-military role.
    4. How do the police and military separate their roles/cooperate/coordinate?
    5. Operational/decision-making can be assessed with a combination of ‘table-top’ scenarios where a moderator poses increasingly complex problems and encourage the team to find a solution (involve police, local population, media, political and NGOs to provide perspective and different views). The aim is that the police discover performance solutions. Not strictly an assessment but it might provide the basis on which tactical/team level assessment is made.
    6. At individual/team level, creating small exercises of typical situations will elicit performance but the measurement model depends on agreed performance metrics.

    I would have thought the UK College of Policing has these: performance metrics for individuals and small teams.


    Or is your colleague seeking some way of assessing whether his policing colleagues are teaching/assessing appropriately! As the advice and assist teams leader, he may need that confidence by having something to compare it against.
    davidbfpo

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