U.S. – Tajikistan Joint Community Policing Effort Counters Violent Extremism in Vanj

Dushanbe, Tajikistan October 3, 2018 –  Chargé d’Affaires Kevin Covert and Tajikistan Ministry of Interior (MIA) General for Police Reform Shodmonzoda met with community  leaders September 17 – 20 in Vanj City and upper Vanj to discuss further support for the community policing partnership team (CPPT) set up in 2017 in Vanj to counter violent extremism and prevent radicalization in Badakhshon.

As part of the Government of Tajikistan’s police reform, the U.S. Embassy Community Policing Program aims to improve the MIA’s capacity to serve Tajik citizens, uphold rule of law, and enhance citizens’ trust in the police.  To date, the U.S. Embassy has created twenty-seven CPPTs and forty-four Community Policing Centers.

In Vanj City, the CPPT – composed of the Vanj Deputy Governor, the Chief of Police, the local Imam, a representative from the district Department of Youth, and local business leaders – highlighted immense progress over the course of a year.  Together, the group (i) enhanced trust between police and residents, (ii) organized community-wide collaboration and response to threats, and (iii) developed new recreation and entrepreneurial opportunities in Vanj.

The CPPT noted U.S.-sponsored community policing training and operational advice was effective in building trust with the local community and emphasized that the consensus-based process streamlined problem-solving and information-sharing among leaders in Vanj.

The CPPT structure permits local partnership teams to identify problems and communally agree on effective responses.  In addition to monitoring threats, the CPPT, with U.S. Embassy and MIA support, has taken proactive measures to broaden opportunities for Vanj youth.  For example, the community has recently built a new field for sports and recreational activities.

In upper Vanj, Chargé Covert and General Shodmonzoda met with the upper Vanj Head of Administration to discuss supporting the community with a CPPT and Community Policing Center (CPC).  With upper Vanj more than 100km from a police station, a CPPT and CPC would allow the community to be self-sufficient in managing crime and enforcing rule of law.

The Embassy will continue to identify new areas of partnership with MIA.  Our goals are to:

  • Establish new CPPTs and support the institutionalization of community policing.
  • Reduce the causes of insecurity and recruitment into extremist groups.
  • Strengthen existing CPPTs through mentoring.
  • Monitor existing CPPTs for sustainability and program continuity.
  • Enhance training of law enforcement personnel.
  • Foster further CPPT interactions and implementation.