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Iraqi Police Conduct Baghdad Raid Without U.S. Oversight

By Spc. Ben Brody, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD, Oct. 1, 2005 – In the dead of night Sept. 24, Iraqi police with the 2nd Public Order Brigade conducted their first raid without oversight by coalition forces.

The mission was directed against members of terrorist groups and criminal gangs in Medain, a district south of Baghdad. In all, the Iraqi police unit detained 20 suspects and confiscated several AK-47 assault rifles.

"Medain is a very important area for us to secure - many people suspected of terrorism live in that region," said Brig. Gen. Hamed Aabdullah Abrahim, 2nd POB commander. "Our brigade is conducting qualitative operations, not quantitative, and it has resulted in a safer Baghdad."

"This is the first joint mission, planned and led by the 2nd Public Order Brigade. The Iraqis are out front," said Army Maj. Rick Ackerman of the Special Police Transition Team. "There was no American intervention - 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry provided an outer cordon and the Special Police Transition Team provided a liaison between coalition forces and the Public Order Brigade."

The Special Police Transition Team is a Fort Drum, N.Y.-based unit that specializes in training and advising the special police in combat. They have worked extensively with the 2nd POB in Baghdad for the past six months.

"The Public Order Brigade will be instrumental in keeping Baghdad safe," said Army Maj. John Hinrichs, a Special Police Transition Team member from Gouverneur, N.Y. "They are critical to security in the city."

The POB is a paramilitary wing of the Iraqi police, designed to provide large-scale law enforcement operations in Baghdad in order to avoid using Iraqi Army troops in dense civilian populations. According to Ackerman, from Jamestown, N.D., the next step is to repeat this type of mission to establish a pattern of competence that will help the Special Police Transition Team assess the POB's readiness.

"The Public Order Brigade will continue doing what they demonstrated today - taking the lead in every aspect of the mission, while they further refine their planning," Ackerman said. "We're moving toward a point where the Public Order Brigade won't need us; Our job is put ourselves out of a job. As the Public Order Brigade stands up, we stand down."

"Conducting joint operations helps both U.S. and Iraqi units," said Army Lt. Col. Robert Kerecz, Special Police transition Team commander. "The more we understand and appreciate each other's capabilities, the more effective team we are."

"We will hunt terrorists wherever they dwell," Abrahim said after the mission. "We give the Iraqi people hope as we develop our army, and make it more advanced - so we may live in peace."

In related news, the Iraq Police Service graduated 669 police officers from the basic police-training course Sept. 29 at the Baghdad Police College.

The Baghdad Police Academy opened its doors in January 2004 and has graduated more than 15,800 students. This was the first basic training course taught entirely by Iraqi police trainers, who received basic and advanced instructor development training at the facility.

The 10-week basic police-training program is designed to provide fundamental and democratic policing skills based on international human rights standards to the students in preparation for assuming police officer responsibilities. The program consists of academic study of general policing topics combined with a heavy emphasis to tactical operational policing skills.

Also, The Iraqi Police Service graduated 223 police officers from advanced and specialty courses at the Adnan Training Facility Sept. 29 as part of the Iraqi government's ongoing effort to train its security forces.

The courses consist of basic criminal investigations with 41 graduates, advanced criminal investigations with 10 graduates, interview and interrogations with 27 graduates, violent crime investigation with 45 graduates, criminal intelligence with 23 graduates and election security with 77 graduates.

The basic criminal investigation course, designed to introduce participants to basic concepts of criminal investigation, covers topics such as theft, burglary, arson, robbery, sexual offenses and homicide investigation. Students receive classroom instruction and hands-on training in fingerprinting, photography, tool marks and plaster casting techniques. The course has graduated 2,627 police officers to date.

The advanced criminal investigation course provides participants with advanced investigative techniques to be used in a variety of situations, but particularly in investigations of homicide, kidnapping, terrorism and bombings. This course has graduated 116 students to date.

(Spc. Brody is assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office. Other Multinational Force Iraq news releases were included in this article.)

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