State Department recruiting U.S. police officers for 'one-year missions' in Iraq

Friday, February 11, 2011   E-Mail this story   Free Headline Alerts

WASHINGTON — The State Department, assigned to assume responsibility from the U.S. military later this year, has sought to recruit police officers for its security training mission in Iraq.

The department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs has begun meeting with municipal and state law enforcement to encourage officers to sign up for a program to development Iraqi security forces. The program was scheduled to begin when the department takes over for the U.S. military in Iraq in October.

"The bureau is seeking to recruit both active and retired U.S. law enforcement officers as the U.S. Department of State builds a team of senior level and expert advisors to serve one-year missions in Iraq," the department said.

In a statement on Feb. 3, the department did not say how many officers would be required for the forthcoming security mission in Iraq. But officials said the assessment was that State would need at least 17,000 assigned to 15 locations.

Officials said the State Department, through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, would assume full responsibility for the development of police and border forces under the Iraqi Interior Ministry. They said State would also support development in Iraq's corrections and justice sectors.

"Under Department of State leadership, the Police Development Program will partner with the government of Iraq in developing management, leadership and technical skills to support the rule of law and maintain Iraq’s internal security," the statement said.

The statement said the department was seeking "experienced U.S. police officers who would partner with Iraqi ministers, commanders and police chiefs." Officials said the State program could last years.

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