Skip to comments.Security forces help promote Iraqi community policing
Posted on 04/15/2010 6:27:48 PM PDT by SandRat
4/15/2010 - QARAYT AR RUFUSH, Iraq (AFNS) -- Security forces members patrolled the area here April 4 to increase proficiency in the Iraqi police and increase the community's confidence in them and the government of Iraq.
Airmen from the 732nd Expeditionary Security Forces Det. 2 trained and coached the local Iraqi police per the request of the local police commander.
During this mission, the Airmen trained the police in community policing and mentored them during a patrol through a village that had recently been the target of multiple terrorist attacks.
"These patrols teach the IPs how to interact with the local populace and it helps to deter attacks on the village," said Tech. Sgt. Bill Boyden, a 732nd ESFS Det. 2 squad leader, deployed from Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. "During patrols we can obtain information that is invaluable. There are people who are still hesitant to talk to the local police, but will talk to us and vice versa. Either way, we can gather this information that can help protect these people.
"The local police chief wants his officers to do more community policing, as we are changing from operations on the battlefield to stabilization support," he said. "For five years they have been building up to be self-sustaining and now that they are; they are learning new tactics."
During the last five years, the Iraqi police have primarily trained to react to combat scenarios rather than patrolling the streets in a community policing role. To be self-sustaining, the Iraqi police must leverage the effects of cooperative policing efforts with and through the local community. This effort builds trust and a positive relationship between the Iraqi police and the community and can only be achieved by street patrols.
"We used to solely train the Iraqi police on how to react to an ambush or how to assault through an objective because they had to focus on staying alive on the battlefield," Sergeant Boyden said. "Patrols like this will allow Iraqi police departments to turn back into community-oriented police departments and they need some help doing that."
During the walking patrol through Rufush, the residents seemed eager to talk to both the members of 732nd ESFS Det. 2, as well as the Iraqi police. Within moments of beginning the patrol, villagers met with the patrol teams and provided them with information regarding recent attacks.
The residents informed the Iraqi police and security forces members about how they conduct night patrols on their own in order to deter attacks and help protect their village.
"I really liked that we came out and talked to the people," said Iraqi police officer 1st Lt. Abidalla Hady. "At the same time, I like to do something for them. Not just talk to them, but truly help them. I want to know what they are suffering from so we can do something. Because we have to help them and make things happen.
"We didn't used to go and do patrols, especially joint patrols, because of everything that was happening," he said. "The people were scared to talk to us because they felt the bad people would hurt them. Now the people are beginning to trust us and they come to us and complain about what is happening."
Two members of an Iraqi police department place posters on a community wall during a joint presence patrol April 4, 2010, near Rufush, Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Trish Bunting)