FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq – The 772nd Military Police Company, Massachusetts National Guard, and the Iraqi Police Advisor team are starting a new approach to Iraqi Police training that will provide a sustainable training system for when coalition forces leave Iraq.
“Our overall goal is to start a program in Wasit that can be a model for the rest of the country of Iraq,” said Staff Sgt. Elton Dean, headquarters squad leader, 772nd MP Co. “So what we want to do is give the Minister of Interior a reason to institute a program like this in order to make the entire country of Iraq better, not just the province of Wasit.”
The new training approach will institute a mobile training team that will travel to the outlying and local Iraqi police stations and focus on the train-the-trainer program for each station.
“With the timeframe that we’re looking at, it’s real important right now that we start looking at a way that we can start making them more self-reliant and continue their training and be able to have the fundamentals down so when we are gone, they can continue to train and be able to police themselves and not have to look around for answers,” said Dean, of Douglas, Mass.
The training will focus on everything from community policing, ethics, basic law enforcement procedures, crime scene protection, crime scene processing and leadership courses to any identified training that the local police stations may need. The current training structure was built around the assessments from the Wasit Provincial Director of Police Maj. Gen. Ra’ad.
It will also establish different training for the officers, noncommissioned officers and regular IPs.
“Currently they don’t have a training breakdown between the IPs, NCOs and officers, and one of the things we have been looking at is how can you as a leader keep accountability of your Iraqi Police officers and keep the standards enforced if you don’t actually understand what they are,” said Dean. “This new training approach will address that problem.”
The training approach is sustainable because not only will the Iraqi Police be trained under the train-the-trainer program, but each police station and the police headquarters will have training officers to track the progress of the training across the province.
“What’s good about the 772 being here is that it is a National Guard Company where we do have a lot of civilian police officers and we bring a lot of civilian policing experience to the table, and that’s another thing that the IPAs do as well; they bring multiple years of civilian police experience over here. This helps the Iraqi Police get away from the military mindset because the military and the police are two different functions,” said Dean.
“Between the IPAs and the 772 working together, we’re able to bring enough of that civilian experience so that we can mentor them on a level that they should be mentored at,” added Dean.
The new training approach has already been approved by the Provincial Director of Police and the 772nd MP Co., from Taunton, Mass., and IPAs are scheduled to begin the new training program in the next few weeks, as soon as the PDoP indentifies the initial set of T3 instructors to be trained.