Iraqi Police officers celebrate the opening of the new Iraqi Police Station in Yusifiyah last week. (U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Christopher McKenna)
CAMP STRIKER (May 6, 2008) — The people of Yusifiyah had reason to celebrate when the Yusifiyah Iraqi Police Station officially opened its doors to serve the community last week.
After 10 months of renovations, the Yusifiyah police force has a new headquarters.
“The constant presence of police in Yusifiyah is going to provide a consistent level of security,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Rohling, commander, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
Previous attempts at establishing a police station in the area failed due to al-Qaeda presence.
“Security in Yuifiyah area is far better than what it was a year ago thanks to combined efforts between the Iraqi Army and Coalition,” Rohling said. “The IPs are now going to play a more vital role.”
Until the opening of the IP station only 15 police patrolled the city, all of whom came from the Yusifiyah Joint Security Station.
“The police activity was previously very limited, as the majority of work came toward providing force security for the JSS,” said 1st Lt. James Gasapo, from Syracuse, N.Y., 3rd BCT provost marshal. “The overall number of Iraqi Police in the area now totals in the hundreds.”
The majority of the policemen are from the Yusifiyah area. They were trained at Camp Fiji, Iraqi Police training at Baghdad International Airport.
“In order for cities and towns to function properly they need security,” Gasapo said. “The Iraqi Police provide the policing assistance to the area to help create security and perceptional security in the eyes of the locals which will enable them to establish effective business, enabling the people to utilize those businesses. The Yusifiyah wholesale market is a perfect example of that.”