HIT, Iraq --
HIT, Iraq – Marines with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 and the battalion’s law enforcement professional is working closely to prosecute criminals in Iraq.
Roger Parrino, the battalion’s LEP, serves as the criminal investigator for the battalion and uses his background in law enforcement to assist Coalition forces. His 21 years in the New York Police Department helped him prepare for the job. He retired as the commanding officer of the Manhattan North Homicide Squad.
Prior to the battalion’s combat deployment, Parrino joined the unit in September 2007 and assisted the Marines by giving classes on sensitive-site exploitation, tactical questioning, rule of law, detainee handling and patrol observations. He has continued to advise Marines during their combat deployment.
“When we take the LEP out, he teaches us questioning techniques and how to read people’s body language to see if they’re being forthright,” said Sgt. Jay J. Richardson, 29, a section leader with 3rd Bn., 4th Marines, from Midland, Mich.
He has spent the deployment assisting 3rd Bn., 4th Marines by questioning Iraqi locals about shootings in town, building evidence against insurgents and appearing in Iraqi courts to testify. He’s also been mentoring the National Intelligence and Investigation Agency, which is similar to the FBI.
“The (LEP) program was designed to bring someone in from law enforcement to help in the counter insurgency environment,” said Parrino, 47, who is from New York City.
So far, Marines have noticed his presence in Iraq. They’ve realized that he conducts his investigations in a different manner than they would.
“He does his job and approaches it differently than we do,” said Sgt. Josh W. Huskey, 27, a platoon sergeant with 3rd Bn., 4th Marines, from Buda, Ill. “The biggest difference between us is the way he handles sensitive-site exploitation and tactical questioning. The questions we don’t have, he does.”
Marines have not only noticed his abilities, they’ve also seen the thoroughness that goes into Parrino’s investigations, and they like it.
“You see him still conducting his investigations three months after an incident occurred,” Huskey said “Last deployment, if you didn’t find the guy in three or four days, you’d move on.”
For Parrino, it’s all part of his job. He says he’s appreciated his time with the Marines and enjoys watching them use his training.
“The highlight of the deployment has been when I’m out on patrol and seeing small-unit leaders performing things the way I instructed,” Parrino said. “It has been worthwhile, and I would like to do it again.”