An Iraqi Policeman mans a machine gun at a checkpoint in the Salhiya District of Baghdad, Sept. 10. Salhiya was the first district in Baghdad to transfer from Iraqi Army to IP at all of its checkpoints.
BAGHDAD (Sept. 14, 2008) — A large Iraqi security force convoy, which included several Iraqi Army Humvees, exited the international zone in Baghdad at midday, Sept. 10, 2008. At the front and back of the convoy was an Iraqi Police patrol vehicle providing escort security for the convoy.
“That says something in itself,” said Capt. Nathan Brookshire, a Military Police commander, while viewing the long line of Humvees exiting the international zone. “Iraqi Police pulling security for an Iraqi Army convoy, you don’t see that every day.”
At least you don’t in Baghdad, where until recent months the local populace security was provided by the Iraqi Army.
Now Iraqi Police are continuing the transition of becoming the primary ISF in Baghdad by taking over at checkpoints to provide the first line of security for the citizens here.
In recent months the process of turning all Iraqi Army manned checkpoints over to the IP has been very successful.The Salhiya District is the first of the Baghdad districts to have all of its checkpoints turned over to IP control.
There are many key terrain features in the Salhiya District, which makes it an important district in the overall security of Baghdad. One of these landmarks is the Seik Railway, which is Iraq’s main railway that runs from Mosul to Basra.
“The trains have been running successfully for about a year now,” said Capt. William Macugay, Multi-National Division - Baghdad.Aside from Salhiya, the transition continues to spread throughout Baghdad.
“Within the next year I predict we will have all of Baghdad transitioned to IP taking the lead at providing rule of law in their communities,” said Macugay, a native of Ewa Beach, Hawaii.
The IP have gone through months of training and planning to be ready for this transfer. Now it was time for the Coalition forces to see if the IP were ready to provide for their communities.
“In the past few months the IP have responded to incidents on their own with minimal CF support,” said Brookshire. “The situation now is IP are in the lead they respond to incidents within the district. They are the initial responders we act as more of a liaison for them now.”
“We have a good working relationship with the citizens,” said Iraqi policeman Capt. Nasser Abed, the Salhiya District headquarters operations officer. “Our door is always open for citizens to report problems and they use a tip line where they can report criminal activities to us.”