Magazine article Army

Renewing the Police Force

Magazine article Army

Renewing the Police Force

Article excerpt

The priority in rebuilding Iraq is establishing civil security, and the best way to provide security for both Iraqi citizens and U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq is to put a well trained, disciplined and motivated civilian police force on the streets.

Several programs to train Iraqi police are being studied and instituted by the Coalition Provisional Authority, including sending thousands of candidates to facilities in Hungary for training.

In Mosul, however, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) was fortunate to have reserve component soldiers assigned who had the experience and know-how to institute and conduct police training curriculums. They gave the 101st Airborne a jump on restoring civil authority.

By late mid-summer, an interim police academy was established in Mosul, and it was graduating trained police and corrections officers. Meanwhile, the 101st was giving Mosul police the tools to do their jobs by refurbishing police stations, buying patrol cars and communications equipment and building a new academy facility to train the city's entire emergency response system-police officers, prison personnel, fire fighters, ambulance drivers and other emergency services personnel-which would be staffed and run by Iraqi authorities.

The job of setting up the academy system was given to soldiers of the 156th Military Police (MP) Detachment (West Virginia Army National Guard) and the 431st Civil Affairs Battalion (U.S. Army Reserve [USAR], headquartered in Little Rock, Ark). Most of them are civilian law enforcement and corrections officers in the United States. They were later augmented by soldiers from the 530th MP Battalion (USAR, headquartered in Omaha, Neb.)

Leading the efforts were Lt. Col. Don Lockard and SFC Lonnie Bryson from the 156th on the police side and SSgt. Jay Bo'en, who established the corrections officer training. "The idea was to come up with a program that mirrored academies in the United States and paralleled what we do in western police departments," Col. …

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