Iraqi police force making progress

Nov. 2, 2007 at 10:59 AM
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BAGHDAD, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. commander of the Civilian Police Assistance Training Team in Iraq says he's impressed with the progress of Iraq’s National Police Corps.

Army Maj. Gen. Michael Jones says Iraq's police, led by senior Iraqi leaders, are making progress with reforms and improvements to the country's law enforcement body. Additionally, he says that a recent reform program and training regimen overseen by Italian paramilitaries greatly contributed to the success, the American Forces Press Service reported.

“It’s actually quite gratifying to see the considerable change and the progress that’s been made,” Jones said in a statement.

The National Police Reform Program established by Iraq’s Interior Ministry earlier this year aims to improve police members’ conduct and professionalism. The reform program began after an evaluation of Iraq’s police indicated evidence of significant sectarian infiltration.

Iraq’s national police commander, Lt. Gen. Hussein, recently purged 18 of 27 battalion commanders, all nine police brigade commanders and both national police division commanders after the National Police Reform Program was established by the Interior Ministry, which called for improvements to conduct and professionalism. Hussein replaced the exited officials with command teams that equally represent the country’s sectarian makeup.

“The reform program … is one where the senior Iraqi leadership has certainly taken the initiative to try to move progressively and quickly to ensure that they improve both the conduct and the professionalism of the national police,” Jones said.

“Proof is in performance. As these national police units have come out of training and gone back into the fight, they’ve taken responsibility in a lot of very contentious areas.”

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