Many Iraqis Vie for Security Jobs
July 12, 2007
MAHMUDIYAH, Iraq (American Forces Press Service, July 13, 2007) - Despite Iraqi security forces being a primary target for anti-Iraqi terrorists, people continue to volunteer to become members of the Iraqi police.
An Iraqi security forces recruiting drive, held July 8 through July 10 in Mahmudiyah, brought in almost 2,000 Iraqi citizens vying for jobs. The drive was orchestrated largely by the 23rd Military Police Company, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Brigade, based at Fort Bragg, N.C.
Mouyed Al-Ameri, the Mayor of Mahmudiyah and Gen. Abid, area police commander, visited applicants at the drive.
Air-tight security and coordination between Iraqi and Coalition Forces ensured safety for everyone involved: each person was searched twice before entering the Iraqi Security Force compound and twice more within the facility.
While most of the applicants were Shia, many Sunnis were on-hand to apply. Applicants came from many of the local villages-al-Rasheed, Mahmudiyah, Lutifiyah, and Yusufiyah. The recruiting drive was extended for one day to allow citizens of al-Rasheed and other areas of Sunni majority to ensure the recruit base was evenly represented.
During the application process, an individuals physical characteristic were entered into a biometrics database. This information includes a retinal scan, fingerprinting, and a photograph of the applicant.
The Mahmudiyah district, which includes Lutifiyah and Yusufiyah and many outlying villages, will have eight police stations and joint security stations in the next five years; most of which are already built. Staffing these stations with trained police is the next goal - one which the recruitment drive helped substantially.
"We'll be able to have more presence patrols and more checkpoints," said Sgt. 1st Class Robert Porter, a native of Portsmouth, Va., and a platoon sergeant with the 23rd MPs. "We can cut out the unauthorized checkpoints and provide more established security, just as soon as we get police through the academy and get them the resources they need."
The operation was aided by the 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., and the 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army division, both based in Mahmudiyah.
"With good recruits, we'll end up with a police force more capable of providing security for the local population," said Capt. Dustin Walker, a native of Bedford, N.H., and an adviser to 2-15's partnered Iraqi Army unit. "Recruits from this area have a vested interest in protecting their home areas, and the number of people who want to get involved with their government is outstanding."