CAMP RIPPER, Iraq --
Select Iraqi Security Force officers from around al-Anbar province, Iraq, have just added new tools to their arsenal.
Iraqi Police and Provisional Security Force officers graduated from a two-day Law Enforcement Program course designed to give the officers additional skills in investigating possible Iraqi criminals.
This class was offered to the ISF officers so they can learn how to create, supervise and lead new Iraqi law enforcement investigative teams around al-Anbar province.
“(We’re) teaching (the Iraqis) how to put together and command investigation teams. They need to know how investigations work so they can pick team members,” said Douglas J. Hansen, who is affectionately called “Pappy” by service members here and is the senior law enforcement advisor to the commanding officer of Regimental Combat Team 5, Col. Patrick J. Malay.
“We need to start at the top leadership and teach them what they need to know so they know what the investigators need to do,” said Hansen, who served 25 years as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “We’re training them to know what to expect from the investigators.”
The LEP members taught the ISF officers how to start investigations and conduct the interview process. Practical applications ensued.
“A few years ago, the (Iraqi people) were just trying to survive; they have fought on and learned their lessons,” said Hansen, who has served approximately 20 months in Iraq. “They have created a safety net around them so they can now get to work.”
“No one has ever really trained them to be investigators,” said Hansen, who has worked in Saudi Arabia as an assistant legal attaché and has worked extensively with foreign police officers throughout the world. “They’ve had (trainers) which have given them the basics, but they now can put them into practice.”
Among the participants attending the class was Col. Shaban Barzan Himrin, the Baghdadi, Iraq, chief of police, who is often called the “Lion of al-Anbar.”
“The people gave me my nickname because I was the only one fighting in al-Anbar and standing up to the terrorists,” said Shaban, speaking of when Coalition forces first arrived in Iraq. “I used to speak over a (loud speaker) and encourage the populace to stand and fight the terrorists. I was never afraid of terrorists. Once they shot me and (after that), I used to roar like a lion at them. I’m thankful for my people because they valued me.”
Shaban spoke to the officers in attendance about what it means to be a leader and to serve the people of al-Anbar.
“I would like to thank the (instructors) because they taught us the proper way to start investigations, and as leaders, these are elements we need,” said Shaban, as he addressed the class. “From Pappy’s past experience of 32 years, take (what you can) and discuss between yourselves how to implement the knowledge you learned. We swear to God we will follow criminals wherever they go and do whatever it takes to catch them. The people in the area are counting on you.”
At the conclusion of the class, Hansen had a warm message for the parting ISF officers.
“This is my last official act as senior law enforcement advisor, and it has been my greatest honor to be with you, work with you and to call you friend,” said Hansen, who will fill a similar position in Baghdad, Iraq. “I’ll never forget you, and you will always be a part of my life. I’m proud to work side-by-side and hand-in-hand with you.”