HIT, Iraq --
City officials, and Marines with a civil affairs team, assembled here April 23, to discuss district security and other issues.
A noticeably larger Iraqi Police security detail was present along with Marines with Detachment 1, Civil Affairs Team 3, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, to ensure the safety of those in the meeting.
“We are basically there to observe and answer any questions they might have about what the Coalition forces are doing in their city,” said Sgt. Robert M. Ainley, 30, a civil affairs Marine with Detachment 1, CAT 3. “As far as the city council goes, they run it and we are there to observe and to give advice if they ask for it.”
The Hit City Council usually meets once every two weeks to discuss concerns and what needs to be dealt with and how to deal with it.
“The big issues today were security oriented,” said 1st Lt. Timothy J. Rajcevich, 25, from Waukegan Ill., civil affairs team leader, Detachment 1, CAT 3.
The city council usually operates by members briefly discussing their points and then determining a course of action at a later meeting.
“The first point of discussion was on the Iraqi government establishing a national security department in each district,” said Rajcevich.
The second point of discussion dealt with the Iraqi police.
“It was reestablished in the meeting that a police officer cannot arrest an individual unless he has a warrant that has been signed by a judge or he witnesses the individual committing a crime,” said Rajcevich.
The final point of discussion dealt with trespassing and squatting.
“Another security problem in the city is people trespassing on government land,” said Rajcevich. “This is basically people who moved out of the city onto a piece of land they did not own and are now squatting there.”
Since March, the city council of Hit has been responsible for overseeing local security. By meeting every other week, they are given enough time to research the best solution to not only the security issues, but civil project issues as well, such as how to provide people with water and electricity.