"A few of the classes covered [in recruit training] included basic first
aid, human rights training, patrol training, small arms training and search
techniques," U.S. Army Sgt. David Northup, an adviser to the police, said.
Officials said the U.S. program to develop and enhance the Iraqi police
has been hampered by major budget cuts at the Iraqi Interior Ministry as
well as the revived Al Qaida threat. They said Al Qaida has been identifying
and intimidating some of the new personnel to cooperate in mass-casualty
"The IPs [Iraqi police officers] standing here are faced with a lot of
obstacles just to make it to the training center, but they do the best they
can with what they have," Northup said. "I have to give them a great deal of
credit to make it to this point and graduate."
Police negligence has been blamed for the spate of Al Qaida suicide
bombings in Baghdad over the last three months. Scores of police commanders
and officers were suspended or dismissed amid allegations of corruption,
negligence and ill discipline.
"Our mission here has been one of success," U.S. Army Col. Rudy Arruda,
a deputy battalion commander, said. "There are now more Iraqi police that
are qualified to protect and serve the people of Baghdad."
On Nov. 9, the Baghdad Police College graduated more than 1,000 cadets
who completed a nine-month training program. The course included 50 female
police officers, the first time women have participated in Iraqi forensic
and investigations training.
Officials said most of the new police recruits would be deployed
in Baghdad. They said the introduction of young motivated and trained police
was vital to stop Al Qaida and other insurgency attacks on critical
facilities throughout the country.
"When Baghdad is safer your families at home are safer," Yunis, the
Iraqi police general, said.