District police, U.S. forces discuss progress and future
July 11, 2011
CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE WARRIOR, Iraq " Members of the Provincial Police Transition Team, 1st Advise and Assist Task Force, visited the Dibbis district police station, northwest of Kirkuk City, Iraq, July 6.
Lieutenant Colonel Steven Hughes, Team Chief for the Provincial Police Transition Team, 1st AATF, toured the Dibbis police headquarters and met with Lt. Col. Moayed Bakir Sidiq, Dibbis chief of police, to discuss progress, the current state of affairs and future plans for the district.
“Working with the police forces in the province has been the mission of the Provincial Police Transition Team,” said Hughes, who calls Big Springs, Texas, home. “Our whole goal has been to help the police in the area make the transition to being completely self-sufficient and independent from U.S. Forces.”
The PPTT, working with the Dibbis police force since February, identified areas where they could assist in improving the policemen’s skills.
“We have been coming out here to Dibbis since February,” said Sgt. Patrick Tucker, team leader with 272nd Military Police Company. “(We’ve) looked at things that we could . . . help these guys on like weapons maintenance, weapons training, and security methods.”
Civilian law enforcement advisors, part of the PPTT, assist the Iraqi police in improving facilities and operations, as well as intelligence collection and logistics.
“Whenever the Provincial Police Transition Team comes out to Dibbis we come along and our expert advisors will go through and evaluate the systems and methods that the Iraqi Police have in place,” said Randy Andrews, senior civilian police advisor to the Kirkuk chief of police. “If there is any advice or help we can give that will lead to them improving the way they conduct business, we do it.”
Sidiq, recently appointed as chief of police, vowed to continue the strong work of his predecessor in improving the Dibbis police, who patrol one of the largest districts in Kirkuk province.
“The Dibbis district police are currently running all their own policing operations in their area of responsibility,” said Tucker, a native of Indianapolis. “These guys have improved greatly since February, and continue to look for ways to get better. They are out there issuing warrants and making arrests based on those warrants and going for evidence based on convictions - They are doing it the right way.”
As U.S. forces decrease the size of their operational foot print, Iraqi Police bear an ever-increasing level of responsibility for the security of the people of Iraq, with the long-term goal of guaranteeing internal security throughout the country.
“We are extremely impressed with the teamwork exhibited between the different agencies within the police force here in Dibbis,” said Hughes. “Working together is going to help them accomplish the mission, as well as continually looking for ways to improve and evolve, which they have been doing.”