The Baghdad Police College graduated 490 new Iraqi Policewomen at a ceremony here Jan. 26. The women voluntarily stepped forward to serve and protect Iraq, its people and its Constitution. Among their first duties, the new graduates will serve front-line roles providing security for the Jan. 31 election.
â€œThis is something I have waited forâ€¦this day. I am very happy to be a policewoman now and to serve our people,â€ said Sasha, one of the graduates of the largest female class ever to graduate from BPC.
After the ceremony, the new policewomen celebrated by chanting slogans and proudly thrusting their arms in the air. The smiles on their faces told the story of their accomplishments.
â€œWe feel proud and happy that we are bringing new opportunity to Iraqi women today, and more women will follow us,â€ said Aseel, another new policewoman. Another graduate said she joined the police to serve with her husband, also a policeman.
Iraqi Minister of Interior Jawad Bolani congratulated the new graduates for â€œtaking another step towards rebuilding Iraqi security.â€ He said they represent another significant accomplishment for the Ministry of Interior in continuing to further improve security in Iraq.
â€œThese women are now sharing duties with the policemen to bring a new day of prosperity to Iraq,â€ said Bolani. â€œYou are now qualified to defend Iraq, to protect our liberties, Iraqi laws, Constitution and human dignity.â€
Bolani also thanked Coalition forces and trainers at Baghdad Police College for their support in making this course a success.
Iraqi Police Col. Sabah Hashim, Director of Training at the Police Qualification Center, said the women received training in checkpoint security, police operations, and Iraqi law and are qualified to serve in the same capacity as the men. Hashim went on to say the women will serve throughout the nation with Iraqi Police, Border Police and other directorates as required.
U.S. Army Col. Larry Saunders, senior advisor for the Baghdad Police College Transition Team, said the graduation clearly speaks to Minister Bolaniâ€™s commitment to distribute opportunity equally among genders in Iraq. He said the women completed the same basic recruit training course as male Shurta with instruction in ethics, human rights, police operations and firearms training.
â€œThey graduated in time to serve in important roles during the election security process, thus combining two very important symbols of freedom: equal opportunity and the right to elect your political leaders,â€ said Saunders. The BPC-TT provides vital United States and Coalition assistance and training to the BPC and the Iraqi police forces, thereby supporting Iraq in its efforts to maintain security and stability in Iraq.
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Mike Milano, Deputy Commanding General of Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraqâ€™s Directorate of Interior Affairs, which provides training support to the Interior Ministry, said, â€œThis first, all-female graduating class shows the wonderful progress the Ministry of Interior has made as it works to increase diversity in the Iraqi Police.â€
Many other dignitaries attended the ceremony, including the Minister of Womenâ€™s Affairs, Nawal Mageed al Samarai, and Parliament member Sammera al Mossawi, head of the Council of Representativesâ€™ committee on Womenâ€™s Rights and Family.
Al Samarai thanked the Interior Ministry for their new plan of providing more female police. She congratulated the graduates and urged them to be honest and to respect human rights and womenâ€™s rights.
â€œBy your service, you will create more opportunity for more women to serve their homeland and help bring security to our country,â€ said al Samarai.
Posts Tagged ‘Col. Larry Saunders’
Today’s Bloggers’ Roundtable was with Col. Larry Saunders, Director, Baghdad Police College Transition Team and Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Interior Vice Deputy. He was very patient and gave us a detailed review of the structure and training of the Iraqi police as it is currently constituted.
There are three main components of the security forces under the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior
- the Iraqi Police Service, IPS – 240,000 – These are the local police, recruited and stationed near their homes.
- Border Police – 80,000
- Iraqi National Police – 130,000. These are a paramilitary force similar to a combination of a state police force and a National Guard Military Police.
The basic IPS recruit, or shirta, will be trained in either a four or eight week course. The longer course ends at 1 pm daily. The shirta is not a police officer as we know it. He is similar to the auxiliaries that many police departments in the United States have. Only officers in the IPS can make arrests. Enlisted IPS have 6 ranks, to the equivalent of staff sergeant. Many shirta have no high school.
The IPS is recruited and assigned locally. That means that the IPS reflects the sectarian and ethnic makeup of its locality.
For Iraqis with high school, there are more options in the police force. There are two levels of high school degree and the lower level can join as a commissioner. There are eight ranks for commissioner and there is additional training at level 5.
About 1,000 Sons of Iraq just completed the basic shirta course in al Anbar Province.
Officers must have the higher high school degree. They are sent to a three year university program and receive a university degree.
For those officer positions that are support and not line, there are other options. There is a nine month officer course with no degree. A long tenured commissioner at level 4 can take a one year course, with no degree. These men would be serving in administrative and support roles.
One prior service course has been run. It took 1,700 men with prior service in the police or military.
Officers in the National Police cannot be assigned to their home province. Great effort is being made to ensure that the NP is non sectarian.
The Iraqis have implemented an NP officer selection process that interviews the candidates three times, once each by boards chaired by a Christian, a Shia and a Sunni. The combined scores are used to select the successful candidates, and the desire is to eliminate any sectarian bias in the NP officer corps.
Col. Saunders talked about the future of the Iraqi Police, as well. The MoI is now moving to concentrate on the professionalism of the police force. They are satisfied with the present size of the force. A three year plan is being developed by the Iraqis that will guide future training as well as allied mentoring programs. It will focus on core police competencies, leadership, and administration and planning.
Saunders see the Iraqi situation as improving but delicate. He believes the police will need 5-10 more years of mentoring. Several different agencies are currently doing so and coordination is important. NATO has a police training mission. The British have two different groups involved. The Danes are joining Col. Saunders’s Americans shortly.
Col. Saunders stressed that the Iraqis are leading the development of their police force. Westerners are there to mentor and advise but the Iraqis are making the process their own.
Table of contents for Bloggers' Roundtable
- We Don’t Commute to Work Anymore
- Terror Investors Might Want to Look Elsewhere
- I Hear It’s Safe
- In Our Area the Taliban Are Paying More a Month
- Iraqi Police Progress
- Sept. 11 Conspirators Going to Trial
- Continued Courage and Committment
- The Year of Opportunity – 2008
- Competent, Capable, Effective Leadership
- Afghan Army Acts: Decisive, Overwhelming
- Iraqi Military Medical Services
- Dallas Reporting: Aid Mission to Georgia
- Military Integration Into NIMS
- Status Report From the Afghan South
- Status Report From the Afghan East
- Fourth Fleet Is About Partnerships
- Iraqi Police Primer
- Sons of Iraq Status Update
- Army Apologizes
- We Are Here!
- Yar! There Be Pirates!
- Cobra Gold 2009
- Our Best: Sergeant First Class Helen Gillespie
- Africa Partnership Station Comes to E Africa
- Building the Rule of Law in Afghanistan
- Sons of Iraq and the Iraqi Budget
- Air Force Combat Camera – Focus on the Fight
- Afghan Update for July 22, 2009
- The Army Goal: 1.5 Gigawatts of Renewable Energy
- Withdrawing from Iraq – some perspective
- Iraqi security update April 22 2010
- 2012 Federal Budget for Defense
- Pacific Command and the Pacific
- Air Force high flyers mark 100th anniversary