Policing the old fashioned way
June 14, 2011
BASRAH, Iraq - How would modern day American law enforcement fare without the Internet? It would probably be like the Old West. Well, that is what the Iraqi police department of 23,000 officers is facing today. Just eight years after being torn apart by war, it is now a fledgling department facing numerous growth issues from budget to logistics to basic education of its young war-torn force.
The Stability Transition Team Enforcer, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division works with more than 18 counterparts from the rank of major to major general to advise and assist the final stages of modernizing the Basrah Provincial Department of Police and its Ministry of Interior Directorates.
The MOI compound, in the heart of Basrah, consists of more than eight separate buildings. It is a self-sustaining compound that houses multiple functions such as; vehicle maintenance, several detention centers, a 9,000 man emergency response unit force, and a joint coordinating center for all Iraqi Security Forces in Basrah.
Capitalizing from the hard won successes of the previous STT, the compound is at a higher level thanks to the equally hard work of STT Enforcer. Change is ever constant in the military and it is the same for the police.
Working through a recently appointed police chief and new National Intelligence Information Agency, building a solid relationship with the previous chief and director has not hindered Team Enforcer.
"We have come to be a managerial catalyst for the PDoP (Provincial Department of Police) through these recent changes, ensuring progress in the face of change," said STT Commander Lt. Col. Gregory Stokes.
Stokes is the commander of STT Enforcer, charged with the advise and assist mission to the Basrah Police force and the MOI directorates stationed there. His team consists of three officers: Maj. William Mott and Maj. Kevin Kreie are assigned specific MOI counterparts, and Maj. Luis Cruz is the Basrah Operations Center liaison officer, managing U.S. convoys throughout Basrah to ISF Key Leader Engagements.
KLEs are the fact finding and intelligence sharing meetings that drive the progress of the Operation New Dawn advise and assist mission. Their reports are shared up to battalion and brigade level to the intelligence, operations and commanders offices allowing a full spectrum push on the success of each project.
"Our key projects with the MOI compound are crime lab construction, upgrade of the K-9 police program, integration training for the newly arrived police chief, riot training with the Iraqi Army, and budget priority alignment and distribution." Stokes said.
Training and education have become the two critical needs of the police force as Operation Iraqi Freedom transitioned into OND and the advise and assist mission.
After years of war, Iraq lacked senior leadership and a trained force. The meticulous process of rebuilding the ISF is the mission of the STTs working throughout Iraq. Bringing Iraq out of its transitional period and making them a sovereign world player capable of defending its borders and protecting its citizens is the goal of the U.S. STTs.