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RCT-5 gives Iraqi Police station upgrade

23 Sep 2006 | Gunnery Sgt. Mark Oliva

Iraqi Police here gave their station a bit of a makeover. 

New office furniture, including desks, chairs, wall lockers and filing cabinets were delivered by Marines from Regimental Combat Team 5 to upgrade the Iraqi Police station here Sept. 22.  The delivery of supplies also included incubators and a medical waste incinerator to a hospital in nearby Ferris. 

“We’ve been fighting to get them furniture here for a long time,” said Army 2nd Lt. Jill M. Glassenapp, a 23-year-old Police Transition Team leader from Mauston, Wis.  “They’ve done such a good job on their own.”

Glassenapp said Iraqi Police here furnished the station themselves until now.  The station was stood up several months ago, and Iraqi policemen stationed here brought furniture from their home themselves, including a couple of desks, chairs, tables and even beds. 

Until now, Iraqi Police were making due with whatever they had.  Police shared lockers to store uniforms and used empty boxes from meals, ready-to-eat, to store files.  They even built themselves a kitchen in the station so police could eat there when they work 24-hour shifts instead of having to go home.

“This will now give them their own space,” said Army Staff Sgt. Jason K. Garrison, a 27-year-old from Newport, N.Y., assigned to RCT-5’s PTT.  “They won’t have to use MRE boxes.  They’ll have file cabinets to keep records and files organized.”

More importantly, the gesture of furniture delivery is a tangible signal from Coalition Forces that Marines and soldiers take the needs of Iraqi Police seriously.  Coalition Forces provided police with pickup trucks for patrols and weapons, but they were for the direct fight against insurgents in the region.  This delivery demonstrated a longer vision the coalition has for police.  It signaled that Marines and soldiers support them as the stabilizing force for years to come with a professional station.

A Marine convoy pulled up the Ameriyah Police station with two loaded seven-ton trucks.  Palletized, boxed items from refrigerators to folding chairs were stacked on the flatbed trucks.  Iraqi Police, many who were not on shift, but arrived anyway, climbed on the truck and assisted Marines and soldier to tote the gear inside the station.

“This is very good,” said one Iraqi Policeman as he carried in chairs.

“This is satisfying for me to see,” Garrison said.  “I gave them my word we’d get this stuff for them and I want to keep my word.  I want to show them that I do care.”

Garrison said that aside from the physical addition to the police station, the delivery helped to continue to cement the relationship between Iraqi Police here and Marines and soldiers.  They know that their concerns are taken seriously and Marines and soldiers don’t just respond when they need more firepower. 

“It shows them that we trust them when we give them the items they need to run a station, whether it’s desks or thousands of rounds of ammunition,” Garrison added.  “It takes time but they see we’re good on our word.”