More than 100 Iraqi Police officers from throughout Baghdad recently completed important coursework in human rights, officer development, train-the-trainer and counter-insurgency.
The courses are now taught by Iraqi instructors, though Soldiers from the 501st Military Police Company, 1st Armored Division advise them on course curriculum and assist in logistical support for the training missions.
"One of the main things we do is facilitate the trainees, getting through security at Victory Base Complex," said Capt. Peter Wetterauer, commander of the 501st MP Co. "As far as the training and the entire operation of the academy, that's solely done by the IPs."
Wetterauer said the academy has become well known throughout the Baghdad police community, because the instructors have been holding students to such high standards.
"Not everyone who comes through here graduates," Wetterauer said. "It's very rewarding to see them be so successful, because they work very hard and they put themselves at risk to be policemen."
The Iraqi Police have been conducting the training program since February 2010. At the beginning stages of the school, the number of graduates was very low, said Firas Sabah Hamad, an Iraqi Police officer who teaches the train-the-trainer portion of the curriculum.
"Before we started this class in February, we had a class given by the American troops," Hamad said. "After (the trainers) graduated from that class, we had a small number of recruits to teach. But after a while, every time we have had the classes we gained a good reputation within the (Ministry of Intelligence) and more IPs were sent here to train."
Wetterauer said the success of the course can be attributed to the Iraqi cadre. They are enforcing high standards for graduation and they follow the curriculum set by the Ministry of Intelligence.
He said the 501st MP assist with support, training oversight, curriculum management and future plans for the academy.
The curriculum now includes coursework in officer development, which is crime scene management and investigative procedures; human rights, which is about the treatment of prisoners and the rules of ethical interrogation tactics; counter-insurgency, which is mainly about weapons intelligence; and train-the-trainer, which is about developing training program and management skills for the officers. Officers in the training courses take their newly learned skills back to their IP stations and train their own staff.
"I give my class all the information that will be useful for them to use at their police station," Hamad said. "Also, to be sure about after they have this information, they understand I give this information to them as their teacher and as their friend."
Nabil Abbas, an Iraqi Police officer who teaches officer development, said he is passionate about teaching his cadets how to interact with the public, the importance of being an honest policeman and the significance of having loyalty and duty to their country.
"I am passionate about my job because in history, Baghdad was the beautiful capital of the world," Abbas said. "That pushes me to have the courage to do right. If I run away from my duties in this job, I will never see that beautiful day where the people in Baghdad are happy again and the city is beautiful. If we all work hard, we will have a beautiful country again."
Article by Sgt. Kimberly Johnson, Army News Service