FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, KIRKUK, Iraq-The rule of law is the foundation of any free nation. Artistotle said that "law should govern", and those in power should be "servants of the laws" nearly 2500 years ago.

In the spirit of ensuring a fair application of its laws, special Iraqi police officers responsible for investigating crimes travelled to Forward Operating Base Warrior's dining facility May 23 to hone their unique skills and get new ideas on evidence processing.

"We want to improve our officer's ability to investigate crimes and crime scenes," said Brig. Gen. Razaq Hussein, one of the head officers at the Kirkuk police academy and an instructor during the training.

The officers came from around the city and province to participate and learn a few things.

"This class can help increase their progress in the cases they are already working on," explained Razaq. "We are helping refresh the lessons they learned at the police academy, and we are showing them new ways to assess cases and organize them."

According to Razaq, officers working evidence on a daily basis sometimes have old habits that are hard to break, and new skills can improve their investigative work.

"They need to know to do the systems of investigating that we taught them every time they get a case," Razaq said. "But, we are also teaching them information. These classes are how we keep the wheels rolling."

A major point of discussion during the course of the class revolved around proper crime scene investigating.

Brig. Gen. Awad, the commander of the Criminal Evidence Unit, explained to the policemen the need to keep the crime scene pure of any new material. He also went in more detail about video tapping and photographing the scene, as well as, how to find hard evidence.

"If you follow the right steps, you will get answers," assured Awad.

Awad also encouraged the policemen to stay current on the situations in their various cities and villages by reading cases that affect their areas.

Maj. Ahmar Issad, a police investigator, the class was essential.

"You cannot finish an investigation without this type of training," he explained. "Every investigator needs to know this; you will never catch and arrest a criminal without it."

Issad, who graduated from a police academy in Baghdad in 1996, has been investigating crimes ever since.

According to him, a lot of training is required in order to become and remain an investigator.

Issad went on to explain that although the methods of investigating are nearly the same as when he first learned, technology has continued to improve.

For Issad, this was especially true when Coalition forces brought new equipment to the IP investigators that allowed them to gain a more detailed picture from crime scenes.

"You can find out exactly what happened while you are still standing at the crime scene," he explained.

For the policemen who attended the training, new skills were learned that they could apply to their present and future cases.

So, while the Rule of law is not new, the technology and techniques continue to evolve to ensure a fair enforcement of Iraq's laws.