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Old 03-06-2016   #1
Red Rat
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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?
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Old 03-06-2016   #2
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Default

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.
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Old 03-06-2016   #3
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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.
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Old 03-07-2016   #4
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Default

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.
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Old 03-07-2016   #5
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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.
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Old 03-09-2016   #6
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Default Some thoughts

From a ret'd military "lurker":
Quote:
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.
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Old 03-09-2016   #7
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Default Measures (Metrics)

Another "lurker" added:
Quote:
Need to differentiate between measures of activity, measures of performance, measures of efficiency and measures of effectiveness. He needs to make sure that he is actually using measures of effectiveness, and not some form of surrogate which actually measures (eg) activity or performance.
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Old 03-09-2016   #8
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Default Starting somewhere

From a UK police "lurker":
Quote:
Not quite sure how to start with this one.. I could write a book on it.


Without oversimplifying a complex assessment process:


1. What are they (the units being assessed trying to achieve - what does success look like?
2. Understand their crude inputs to the system.. numbers of staff; budgets etc.
3. Gain a more sophisticated assessment of inputs.. what do staff think of their leaders etc. (perhaps too radical a suggestion?!?)
4. Establish some actual or proxy measures to assess current success which might include crude outputs such as arrests; detections; recorded crime and incidents etc.
5. Add some qualitative measures to look at outcomes.. how big is their murder; drugs; corruption problem etc.


Some of the above may be a big ask for Iraq.. but you have to start somewhere I guess.
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Old 03-12-2016   #9
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Default A para-military police leader adds

From a "lurker" with a long time serving in a para-military police service and only the summary is cited below:
Quote:
Summary:

a) Instructions, standing orders, SOPs, shared maps, call signs and structure.
b) Command and Control which puts (a) into practice.
c) Training.
d) Exercises and wash ups.
e) Working together whenever possible and operate as joint units e.g. dogs, EOD, catering etc.

Much can be gained from:
 Checking Orders etc (in Arabic so difficult)
 Interviewing people on and off the record – they will know the problems! Do people follow the instruction and orders? Remember talk to the "Indians" not the bosses. They will make suggestions. I used to start with the boss and work downwards, increasing the number at each rank that you speak with.
 Look at Command and Control structure, you could find improvements. TEWTs, training?
 Deployment of resources – because it is simple most people go for fixed deployment – I would always push for about 50% flexible.
 Surveillance, a vital element in most aspects. Technology, cameras etc. We used everything we could get hold of, the simpler the better.
 Training, both tactical at unit and on an individual basis.
 Discipline?
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Old 03-12-2016   #10
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Default From my "armchair"

Red Rat asked, cited in part:
Quote:
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?
There some standard police items that need to be checked:
  1. Where is everyone? How many are on duty and how many away (sick, courses, leave and holidays)?
  2. Are they being paid regularly and fully? IIRC this was a constant issue for years in Afghanistan.
  3. What is the level of personal police kit seen compared to the stated provision? Simple things like torches, batteries (esp. for their radios), handcuffs or restraints, notebooks, cameras, maps, property bags etc.
  4. What vehicles does the unit have and how many actually work?
  5. What equipment is held at unit level (platoon and higher) at their bases and in vehicles? Computers, secure property storage (for exhibits and especially documents found), riot control items (notably CS gas etc) and to stop vehicles at check points.
  6. What is used for communications? Phones or radios. Personal or official.
  7. What is the level of preparation and training for the unusual demand for their commitment? Can they deploy effectively locally, in the adjacent town or further afield. Handle VIP visits, public disorder, searching after a prison escape and civil disaster - I am mindful of the potential following the Mosul dam failing.
  8. What training opportunities exist, either in-house, locally or further away?
  9. How flexible are they? The ability to adjust rapidly is essential and some of this reflects preparation, training and above confidence in themselves alongside their commanders.
  10. How do they deal with the public - not leaders - and particularly those who dissent or who are detained?
  11. It will be important to know, assuming stabilization is underway, whether the court system is working. If not then and unlikely to adjustment is needed. Evidence may not matter much and instead information / intelligence and "gut" feeling may dominate.
  12. How do they learn? Can they identify gaps in their professional and local knowledge?
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Old 03-13-2016   #11
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Default Many Thanks

Many thanks to John Bertetto, DavidBFPO and others for the responses, both on this forum and via other means.

Although partnering is well understood after the experience of OEF and OIF the situation now is more one of partnering from afar. There is a limited footprint of Advise and Assist teams and no mentoring per se. The issue therefore is with limited access how do we make best use of the access we do have? For the police this is exacerbated by the limited expertise available, there are no Provincial Police Transition Teams as was.

The assessment is very much at the tactical level but will feed the operational level thinking. There is a requirement to identify areas of strength and weaknesses in capability (both equipment and training), but there is also a requirement to identify issues and trends to assist local authorities in their future efforts. The police now are operating very much in an Internal Security (IS) role, and the focus is on how well that they can do that role.

Looking beyond the immediate tactical requirement there is a need to at least start to consider how the police could transition from that role to a less IS focused and more policing focused role. Build for the 'now' certainly, but with a mind that this will be the foundation for the future.

In terms of Measures of Efficiency/Effectiveness/Performance I think we will be trying to gauge the latter, although advising the local authorities how to gauge the former will be a part of any planning.
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Old 03-13-2016   #12
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Default Inspection Assessment Note

From a "lurker" who has experience in inspecting police forces:
Quote:
Assessment Note


In assessing any unit the following should be considered;


Readiness - in terms of kit, training (including awareness of role) and numbers


Operational Delivery


Leadership


Community response


Readiness
This is well covered by David’s suggestion regarding exercises and inspections of facilities and equipment.


Operational Delivery
It is easy to fall into the trap of counting activities but that should be avoided as many such measures are directionally ambivalent, in that is more or less better? Think of rape reported any increase is always presented as a positive, as more victims are willing to come forward. However, the increase may be real!
It will be better to assess outcomes the approach to this is to start at the briefing;
Is it merely informative or does it include structured tasks?
Does the tasking regime reflect the strategic priorities? If not why not?
Is there an appropriate review and debrief in place?


Next consider operational deployment;
Are the areas deployed to routine or are the selected by reference to the mission objectives?
Are the assets deployed appropriate in terms of capability and capacity?
Is there flexibility in terms of real time decisions by the leadership?


Results
Out comes not activities should be counted, the number of vehicles stopped at a VCP is irrelevant the percentage of such stops that results in either an action or intelligence is the measure that should be employed.
The number of allocated tasks resulting from the briefing that are successfully completed should be monitored not just in terms of “jobs done” but also in terms of further actions generated.


Leadership
This can be assessed by monitoring on going improvements in the results.


It can be further assessed in terms of self generated taks and actions. Are they in line with mission objectives and are they developmental in terms of the individuals and the team.


Community Response
This is best assessed in possibly hostile environments by a mechanism for discreet and anonymous feedback. (similar to the systems used in Northern Ireland)
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Old 03-14-2016   #13
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Default A reminder

Thanks to an Indian "lurker" there is a book, which includes a chapter 'The Role of Police in Counterinsurgency Operations in Iraq, 2003–6' by Matt Sherman and the Abstract says:
Quote:
Policing is a skilled and complex task that lies at the nexus of the security sector and the criminal justice system. Police are likely to be the face government presents to the population. They live and interact in the community within which they operate, are rarely unit-based, and have significantly different objectives and accountability structures than their military counterparts. This chapter highlights the challenges to the development of the Iraqi Police Services (IPS) during 2003–2006, as well as the Service’s failures and successes. Particular attention is paid to the politics underlying security at local and national levels, as well as mismatched Coalition and donor priorities (e.g. emphasizing quantity vs. quality), the comparatively lengthy and complex process of police and criminal justice sector development, the effect of strong leadership, the correlation between the growth of civil society and policing, and the role of host nation military support for policing.
The book is 'Policing Insurgencies: Cops as Counterinsurgents'. Edited by C. Christine Fair and Sumit Ganguly. Published by OUP (India) in 2013. See: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/vie...4883-chapter-9

Matt Sherman was a US political adviser in Iraq 2003-2006, he spoke at a number of events and is now a SCI consultant.
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Old 03-14-2016   #14
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
The book is 'Policing Insurgencies: Cops as Counterinsurgents'. Edited by C. Christine Fair and Sumit Ganguly. Published by OUP (India) in 2013. See: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/vie...4883-chapter-9
Indeed that book is sitting on my shelves beside my desk, as yet unopened, although the book The Police In War is now well thumbed.
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Old 03-14-2016   #15
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Default Learning from our history

Thanks to a pointer I have found a couple of historical papers on the Uk's earlier commitment to assisting the Iraqi police:

1) An academic / practitioner's article (behind a pay wall) 'The Lessons of Policing in Iraq—a Personal Perspective': http://policing.oxfordjournals.org/c.../1/102.extract

This refers to a published paper by 'HMG's Strategic Task Force into international police assistance', I wonder if the net paper is part of that. It certainly is not readily found on the web.

2) From 2010 a former diplomat's papers:http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/media/...-statement.pdf

3) A former Chief Constable's 2010 paper: http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/media/...ment-final.pdf
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Old 03-14-2016   #16
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Default From the "sharp end"

Via a "lurker" a viewpoint from someone at the "sharp end" conducting policing in a COIN environment:
Quote:
I presume the requirement is for an officer attached to a unit in Iraq to assess the Policing Units, their officers and then presumably help them upgrade the skills. If it is so, and presuming that this is to be done in a insurgency prone area I would have following thoughts/ points for consideration:

1) Mission, scope, and accountability mechanism relevant for the unit: Territorial Law Enforcement Unit of the police (akin to a Police Station) will have a mission quite different from from Armed Police Unit responsible for a territory (Armed Outpost) for general area domination. Similarly a reserve police unit responsible for maintaining the logistics or installation security would have different mission and scope. According to their responsibilities the accountability of men and officers could be determined. I have not included pure intelligence unit of the police in this discussion.


2) As I understand, the policing in a insurgency area needs the following Knowledge/Skills/ competencies for all those involved:

- General knowledge of the area, people, customs, history
- Specific knowledge about the vulnerable spots, areas, timings
- Facility of local language
- Certain level of physical fitness, mental capacities
- Knowledge about the weapons prevalent with the force and the enemy
- Skills in handling of weapons and equipment including marksmanship and combat shooting
- Knowledge of Tactics used by the enemy, tactics of the Counter Insurgent, general knowledge about the Policy and Strategy of the higher command

In addition I suppose the leader should have following capacity:
- Ability to relate to team members
- Ability to plan and execute tasks
- Ability to learn on the job, and carry the learning to the force through briefing and training
- Talent spotting ability to identify competent deputies, trainers, niche skills
- Ability to promote, project and sustain team work
- Co-ordinate with other units to achieve unity of effort and inter-operability

Suitable measuring technique could be developed after ascertaining the Mission/Scope of the unit for which the exercise is to be conducted.
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Old 03-15-2016   #17
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From a "lurker" who is an international police trainer, not in the MENA:
Quote:
So I would suggest that police performance could be focused around perhaps five or six key priorities with performance measures designed to reflect operating success under these headings. First and foremost should probably be compliance with national and international human rights standards.

A suggested list might look something like this:


  1. Compliance with national and international standards in human rights. (Measures could be number of reports of excessive use of force, fatalities or injuries caused, complaints of human rights abuses received, complaints received from minority communities, NGOs, third sector organisations or international monitors.)
  2. Impact on public safety and community security (Measures could include indicators of normal civic life such as number of shops and stalls open, people abroad in daylight hours and at night, number of pupils in school, ability of local government and infrastructure to function etc, as well as more obvious indicators such as number of murders, terrorist attacks, kidnappings, public protests and so on.)
  3. Visibility in local communities (Measures to include number of visible police patrols (foot and mobile), number of police/public encounters, number of uniformed officers present on the street over a 24hr period, number of uniformed officers available for immediate deployment, response times to emergency calls or critical incidents.)
  4. Public confidence (Measures to include, number of reports made to police, general measures of public confidence to be measured by public attitude surveys and questionnaires.)
  5. Professional standards (Number of officers arrested, disciplined or dismissed each month, allegations of bribery or corruption, number of complaints against the police, number of women in the police and women in supervisory or command positions. Number of incidents resolved or dealt with effectively per month.)
I'm guessing, largely from a position of ignorance admittedly, that more conventional measures of police performance such as number of crimes recorded, detections and clear-ups are not really appropriate in an environment where basic security is still elusive.
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