By Spc. Shejal Pulivarti, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service
Oct. 30, 2007 - The Military Police Platoon from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, has developed a 10-day preparatory class to implement the basics for Iraqi police recruits before they attend the Baghdad Police Academy, which initiates them as official police officers. This course is designed to give police recruits a basic understanding on what their job will consist of, said Army Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Brinson, the MP Platoon's top sergeant.
The trainees waiting to attend the academy come from various stations in the surrounding area to learn basic police skills, he added. It's an orientation, ensuring all new police cadets go into the academy with the same level of general knowledge.
"The training covers basics on ethics, principles, Iraqi law, first aid, basic rifle marksmanship, responding to a crime scene, and search techniques in various scenarios," said Brinson, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native. "The recruits follow a structured daily schedule emphasizing teamwork and discipline."
The 10 days are spent introducing the material in the classroom and then actively applying what they've learned. The last two days consist of practical exercises that incorporate the entirety of the course.
"Everything learned has to be applied during the hands-on scenarios. The situations gradually get harder to test their understanding," Brinson said.
"Everything is a perishable skill; they have to practice it in order to retain it," he continued. "They understand the task; they are definitely learning what they need to know to be successful."
"The trainees get better every day. The course helps them become good IPs and work with the coalition forces to do our job," said Iraqi Police 1st Lt. Hesham Saman Ali Sauba Boor, a course instructor.
Each Iraqi police station is responsible for sending an academy graduated officer to teach the new recruits. Military personnel rotate through as instructors from the MP Platoon and are assisted by Iraqi army liaison officers.
"Having the IP officers teach them accomplishes a lot; it mainly helps the Iraqi police force become self-sufficient," Brinson said. "It's another step in the progress to make security forces stronger."
As he watched the recruits successfully complete a bounding exercise, Brinson noted, "I see the trainees take more pride in themselves. This course is helping them to become a cohesive unit to accomplish the mission."
Staer Gabar Abedallah, a trainee, said he chose to become an Iraqi police officer to serve his country, secure his community and stop the terrorists.
"The training is a great opportunity to concentrate on training and help the Iraqi people move forward in self governance," said Stonington, Ill., native Army Sgt. David Ashbridge, a military police leader.
(Army Spc. Shejal Pulivarti is assigned to 1st Cavalry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.)