By Lt. Col. Michael Indovina
18th Military Brigade
BAGHDAD – More than 1,000 Sons of Iraq, Iraqi police recruits, completed their first week of IP training at the al Furat Iraqi Police Training Center.
To kick off the program, 608 SoI registered for training at the al Furat Iraqi Police Training Center, Oct. 31, 2008. Now with the first week of training completed, 1,031 SoI are integrated into the IP training program. The second phase of training began, Nov. 3, 2008, with the inclusion of 19 female recruits preparing themselves to be future Shurta.
"We have seen a great abundance of pride from the former Sons of Iraq and now IP recruits," said Staff Sgt. Jacque Hayes, non-commissioned officer in charge, IP training center, who facilitates the training program with Iraqi police.
"I am impressed with the willingness of the recruits to learn and train as they train to become future Shurta," added Hayes, a native of Louisville, Ky., who serves with the 233rd Military Police Company, 18th Military Police Brigade, Multi-National Division – Baghdad.
The SoIs will continue to train for the next three weeks as they take on the challenge to become certified police.
Throughout the four-week basic recruit training the SoIs will be trained in basic police skills. The first week's sessions taught the recruits the basics of what a police officer stands for and included an orientation on how the Iraqi police is organized and basic drill and ceremony techniques.
"We taught the students classes on human rights," said Iraqi police Lt. Sejed Swadde, an IP instructor. "It is important for the recruits to know when they are Shurta that all people are created equal and race or religious background should not mix with enforcing the law."
Throughout the course, the recruits will also be instructed and trained on basic marksmanship techniques, arrest tactics, to include how to conduct proper checkpoint operations, search of vehicles and personnel, as well as Rule of Law background and community policing techniques.
The SoI program was organized by coalition forces in recent years, but the Iraqi government program assumed responsibility over the SoI program, Oct. 1, 2008, in order to integrate the SoIs into the ISF.
The SoI program has been very successful. SoI members paid a heavy price as they assisted coalition forces in defeating the terrorists. The integration of the SoIs into the Iraqi police force demonstrates a positive commitment of reconciliation to the SOIs by the Iraqi government.
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