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Thousands Graduate From Police Training in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

NUMANIYAH, Iraq, Dec. 30, 2004 – The Iraqi police today graduated 1,938 specialized police officers, 1,190 public order police and 748 mechanized police officers who completed intensive-five week training programs conducted at the Civil Intervention Force Academy.

The Iraqi interior minister has turned to the public order police to act as a bridging force in cities where the police force has not yet been established or will be reconstituted due to insurgency activity, said Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq officials. They provide a critical security presence, maintaining law and order, to ensure the safety and security of the local populace, officials explained.

A paramilitary police force, the 8th Mechanized Police Brigade is designed to battle insurgents and assist local law enforcement officials dealing with serious insurgent threats or major criminal activity. The unit is equipped with "BTRs," wheeled armored vehicles with firepower capable of full-combat operations.

"These units require more training and more advanced equipment. However, once deployed to areas of unrest, they will be effective because of their training, motivation and morale, and dedication to their country," said Army Col. Lawrence Pippins, Civilian Police Assistance Training Team program manager for counterterrorism special operations.

Officers attending the courses came from areas throughout Iraq and will be deployed to their respective assignments following graduation, officials said, adding that more than 1,000 officers who previously completed the course have been outfitted, equipped and deployed in support of security operations.

(Courtesy of Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq.)

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