Iraqi Police build trust through community involvement
November 4, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, KIRKUK, Iraq-As Iraqi police continue to improve security in Kirkuk city, Iraq, they are delivering humanitarian aid to not only assist families in need but to also improve their relationship with the local community.
For police in the Adallah District of Kirkuk, a fourth humanitarian aid distribution occurred Oct. 31, during which 75 of the poorest families in the district received food.
"Many of these people are poor and have no jobs," said Ihma Taleeb Taha, the area's mukhtar. "They are very happy to receive the aid."
The aid came in the form of oil, flour, and canned tomatoes, as well as other common household goods.
"This helps the people a lot," said Col. Adnan Hameed Saala, the police chief of the Adallah IP Station. "It also builds trust with the people, so they will call the station if anything happens."
According to Adnan, the reputation of his police station has improved dramatically because of these deliveries.
"People will talk to the police, because they know we will assist them when needed," he said.
The police chief often speaks with residents here, assessing their needs and then attempts to fulfill those needs, according to Ihma.
"They are trying to help the people here," said Ihma. "They have our best interests at heart."
During this aid delivery, Brig. Gen. Patrick Donahue Multi-National Division - North deputy commanding general for Maneuver, paid a visit.
During his visit, the general spoke to the police chief and encouraged him to continue their good work.
According to Brig. Gen. Donahue, it seemed like many of the issues that once plagued this area had been addressed because of the community policing efforts the Adallah IP are doing.
He was also impressed with how well the IP were handling the aid distribution.
The food, which was supplied by the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment "Red Dragons", 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, is more than a temporary measure to ease the suffering of a few.
This humanitarian aid delivery helps build the credibility of the police in this area, said Capt. Jason Harvey, the commander of Battery B, 3/82nd FA
They also increase the information flow to the police from the residents about criminal or terrorist activity because they build trust in the Iraqi Security Forces, according to Harvey.
Harvey also said these humanitarian efforts occur on a regular basis throughout his battalion's area of operations, and although his unit is slated to return to the U.S. in only a few months, it will continue to "keep pressing down on the throttle until the last 'Red Dragon' gets on the plane."
"The situation is good and getting better here," said Ihma. "We are working together to make this area better."