News: Basra Police Academy graduates new officers
By: 1st Lt. Ian Norwalk
BASRA, Iraq – U.S. soldiers escorted the stability transition team “Justice” to the Shiabah Police Training Center Jan. 9 to honor the new Iraqi police officer graduates from the Iraqi Police Academy.
Company C, 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, helped train the officers over the last year to prepare them for this day. The day was also significant because it marked the 89th anniversary of the Iraqi police, an important day for police throughout Iraq, not just the new officers.
“This is an important day for the new Iraqi police officer graduates,” said Lt. Col. Abas Saleme, 12th Emergency Response Battalion commander, in the Al Jubaylah region of Basra. “These graduates have studied and trained for the past two years. It is important that we show support for the graduates.”
The event began with a reading from the Koran, followed by speeches to the new Iraqi officers.
Afterward, select units from the oil police, public order police, Basra special weapons and tactics team, traffic police, explosive ordinance disposal units and units from Basra’s emergency response battalions all conducted a pass and review to honor the new graduates.
“Everyone is here to celebrate all of the hard work and training that has been done throughout the year,” said Muhammad Hasan Fareed, police commissioner. “The Iraqi police have improved a lot over the past year. With more training and hard work, the police force in Basra will continue to improve.” Fareed is one of the instructors at the Shiabah Training Center.
“It was good to see some of the police officers that we have been training with throughout the year,” said Staff Sgt. Dennis Leonard, from Company C, 1st Bn., 68th Armor Reg. “We have worked with the Basra SWAT team and several of the emergency response battalions, so it has been good to see all of the familiar faces.”
At the conclusion of the parade, the class of new officers gathered in celebration chanting, “Now that we have our stars on our shoulders, we can put our boots on the terrorists.”