LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan, March 4 (UPI) -- British officials in Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province said the number of Afghan National Police who have completed training has surpassed 300.
The new Afghan police officers are part of an ongoing effort by the International Security Assistance Force to train local police to support law enforcement efforts in the south of Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgency remains a serious threat, the British Ministry of Defense reported.
The training program, called the Focused District Development program, is an eight-week course designed to provide leadership, policing, legal training and other skills to local Afghans. The FDD, established through a partnership between the Afghan Interior Ministry and U.S. State Department, includes five regional training centers working to professionalize the Afghan police.
"Focused District Development is designed to take the basic policeman and equip him with a professional skill set, the right equipment, a sense of pride and the best possible start toward providing security in the community," Lt. Col. Graeme Armour, the British officer commanding the Security Sector Reform for Task Force Helmand, said in a statement.
"There are still many challenges ahead for the Security Sector Reform team and the Afghan National Police in Helmand, but the 330 trained men standing proudly on parade was proof of progress."