By Staff Sgt. Mark Burrell, MND-B PAOMay 29, 2009
BAGHDAD - The Adamiyah District Iraqi Police Station here has the task of overseeing six IP stations in its district. In a combat zone, this can be a daunting job, but the Soldiers of the 300th Military Police Company, 91st MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade are here to lend a helping hand.
Soldiers of the 300th MP Co. have worked with these IPs for the last 12 months; earning the trust of their Iraqi counterparts, said Sgt. Jordan Talbert, a police transition team leader from Washington, Ind., assigned to the 300th MP Co.
When the MPs make a suggestion, as little as it might be, the IPs listen.
"It's little things, like wearing their uniform on duty and tucking it in. Also, having the proper weapon and ammo and wearing the proper [personal protective equipment] while on patrol," said Talbert, as a fellow MP points at an IP walking by and tells him to tuck in his powder blue IP shirt.
The practical methods the MPs are teaching the policemen of the Adamiyah District IP Station are also being filtered down to its six other lower echelon stations.
"They [the IPs] are getting a lot better at helping each other out," said Cpl. Brian Shipway, a military police team leader from Keyser, W.Va., attached to the 300th MP Co. "Instead of just me, me, me, you can see the IPs teaching each other at the stations."
To facilitate the training, the MP Soldiers suggest different, more efficient ways of doing things to the district-level IPs, such as tracking gasoline and ammunition through a supply officer.
"This helps alleviate the misplacement of supplies. Now we have a monthly inventory that lets them track where bullets are going," added Talbert. "They see how well we operate and want to be more like us. They take what we suggest and adopt it with their own methods."
According to Zuher Abdulwahab Habib, the Adamiyah District operations commissioner, one of the most practical procedures the Soldiers of the 300th MP Co. have passed on is how to track criminal activities in their area. Using a district map on the wall of the operations center, the IPs employ color-coded push-pins to track murders, rapes, improvised explosive devices, burglaries and other crimes.
"We track with this map where significant things happen so we can send more IPs to areas that are more dangerous," said Zuher, who gets most of his intelligence from the Americans. "We work together as a team and set up a patrol distribution system."
As joint patrols are becoming less and less frequent because of the handover of responsibility, the MPs focus more on helping the community trust the IPs, added Shipway. On patrol, they give the IPs lessons in how to interact with the community they protect.
"Most of the community keeps telling us we are doing a good job," said Zuher, who has been a policeman for over 30 years. "They know we are here to help."
The MPs reinforce the importance of talking with locals and passing out literature and tip cards detailing what to do and who to call if local citizens find themselves in trouble.
"We let them know that the IPs aren't bad people, corrupt people, that they can go to them whenever they have a problem, just like law enforcement back in the States," added Shipway.
After working with and coaching the IPs for almost a year, they have a lot of trust and faith in the MPs to teach them the right things, continued Shipway.
"I feel that I came over here and did my job to my fullest potential," Shipway said. "I go out every day and give it what I can. If I teach them one thing, it's a success in my book."
It will be a success in the history books if the IPs can continue to build upon the foothold that the Soldiers of the 300th MP Co. have given them, helping shape the way the Iraqi Police stations function from the top down.