BAGHDAD - After years of training with Coalition forces, the Iraqi Police of al-Karkh district have a firm grasp on what it takes to keep the people of their community safe. Many of the patrols and training are now conducted by the Iraqi Police.

"The Iraqi Police conduct 90-95 percent of their training," said Trenton, N.J. native, Maj. Robert Arnold, a military policeman assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th Military Police Brigade, Multi-National Division-Baghdad. "Now we primarily advise and mentor the IP about training," he said.

The Iraqi Police of al-Karkh currently have a three-stage training process. The initial training, which is done at the Farad Academy, teaches the basics of police work. After the initial training is complete, the Fiji Academy offers more specialized training, where a trainer is taught to train his subordinates with the assistance of the Soldiers of the 8th MP Bde. Lastly, the Baghdad Police College teaches investigation and leadership which involves advanced stages of police work.

"Training for the IPs is constant, consistent and coordinated on a daily basis," said Master Sgt. Michael Bennet, an MP assigned to HHC, 8th MP Bde., who hails from Charleston, Mass. "We have also integrated in-service training for the IP in addition to the three stage process."

The in-service training is a technique used by the Watchdogs of the 8th MP Bde. to help the IP sustain proficiency. In-service training is a small block of instruction on a specific task that has already been taught but it is used to reinforce things the IP may already know.

"Every day we work side by side with the IP to help them improve their training system. Once the system is improved we try to help them sustain it," said Bennet. "Because the IP are doing such a great job, we don't have to patrol with them much," he added.

Soldiers of the 8th MP Bde. help the IP sustain their training by making suggestions and continuing to monitor their progress, Bennet continued.

"We mentor the IP to show them how to share information, intelligence and areas so they can coordinate and overlap versus sticking to one area," said Bennet. "We basically guide the IP on how to improve on the system that is already in place.

Because of the skills the IP have developed over the years with the CF, all training and missions are now done by, with and through the Iraqi Police of al-Karkh. Because the IP have demonstrated the ability to lead in the security of al-Karkh, the Watchdogs can step back and let the Iraqis work to improve the security of their community.