BAGHDAD-More than two months ago, 700 plus recruits registered for the rigorous professional police training which would prepare them to become Iraqi Police officers.

Upon the 8-week course's completion this week, those individuals officially joined the ranks of Iraq's Police Force April 15 after a graduation ceremony at the Al Furat Iraqi Police Training Center.

Numbering 537 police patrolmen, they are the fifth Iraqi Police (IP) class to graduate from the Al Furat Iraqi Police Academy in recent months. Last month, a class of 314 IP Shurta graduated. Following graduation, the Shurta are assigned to patrol duties in towns and cities throughout Iraq.

"These regular graduations are tangible proof the Government of Iraq has kept its promise. It offered Iraqi Police jobs and training to those who care for the safety and security of Iraq's communities," said Brig. Gen. Ali Adnan Yunis, commander, Provincial Directorate of Police. "We extend a salute of respect to all those who wish to serve with us. Their service brings honor to their communities."

The 8th Military Police Brigade, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, assisted the Iraqi Police through mentoring, coaching and teaching both new recruits and senior officers.

Maj. Robert Arnold, commander, Baghdad Police Training Teams, 8th Military Police Brigade, who attended the graduation ceremony observed, "Every Iraqi Police graduation points the way forward. More professionally trained officers are on the streets of Baghdad and throughout Iraq; they are restoring a sense of normalcy to cities and towns around the country. They are the citizen's first line of security."

Registration for the next class of IP candidates is due to start before the third week in April.