Former Hussein hunting lodge becomes IP Center of Excellence
July 15, 2009
BAGHDAD - Members of the 39th Military Police Company, 91st Military Police Battalion, 8th Military Police "Watchdog" Brigade, Multi-National Division - Baghdad completed the conversion from what was originally a hunting lodge, belonging to Saddam Hussein, into the Iraqi Police Center of Excellence, at Camp Liberty, Iraq July, 11
"There will be 15 Iraqi Police students and one Iraqi Police Instructor teaching the classes," said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Booker. "They will be supported by one International Police Advisor and one Coalition Soldier if their assistance is needed."
Booker, the Shreveport, La., native is no stranger to this facility. He has worked in this facility during his 2004-05 deployment, while assigned to Louisiana National Guard's 256th Brigade. During that time, Booker was the assistant warden for the detention facility, in what was originally built for a much different purpose.
The focus of training at the new center will be on advanced police skills, with a heavy concentration on crime scene investigative (CSI) procedures and preservation.
Through the preservation of CSI events, a data base of trends and profiles are expected to further increase the chance of bringing perpetrators to justice, according to Booker. Beyond this focus, general knowledge and police skills will continue to be taught and refined, much the way Coalition forces train.
Several 39th MP Co. Soldiers, under the direction of HHD, 91st MP Bn., started July 7 on making the facility useable, in preparation for classes to begin as early as this month.
Booker concluded, "There is a lot of history with this facility, and I see a lot of potential for the Iraqi people and the Iraqi police, in what we're doing, here."
The facility should be ready for its first classes in late July.