By Staff Sgt. Tanya ThomasAugust 16, 2010
ANBAR PROVINCE, Iraq (Army News Service, Aug. 16, 2010) -- U.S. advise and assist operations in Anbar province helped Iraqi Security Forces achieve a milestone Aug. 10 when the Iraqi Police hosted their first community outreach event at the Anbar Police Department's media center, donating school supplies, stuffed animals and clothes to about 20 orphaned children of police officers killed in the line of duty.
"In the past, the U.S. has initiated many media engagements; this one is a true success in a sense that the Iraqi Police developed it," said Maj. Oscar Malave, a stability transition team member with the 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. "They've taken forward what's been taught in the past and they're actually using their own capabilities."
The event was spearheaded by the APD deputy media director who said he wanted to do something to honor the children of fallen Iraqi Police officers before Ramadan, and to give the public a sense of trust that the Iraqi Police can stand on their own as the U.S. moves closer to the expected withdrawal deadline.
"It's extremely important for the Iraqi public to see that the Iraqi Police is establishing trust," Malave said. "The fact that they're (IPs) not only securing the streets, enforcing the rule of law and establishing IP primacy, they're also doing community relations on behalf of the public -- and that's a good way for the public to gain more trust with them."
Malave said nongovernmental organizations out of the United States also contributed to the cause and donated items to the children of the Ramadi orphanage.
"The true story here, however, is that the Iraqi Police have donated out of their own funds," he said. "Although we're assisting in one capacity -- and they do appreciate it -- they're donating and taking care of their own. It's great to see the Iraqi Police doing such a great job. This is a success on all sides."