By Faisal Ansari, guest blogger
When knowledge of the U.S. comes mostly from “Baywatch” and “The Jerry Springer Show,” it’s time to step in and dispel some stereotypes. Luckily, the IACP, in cooperation with the State Department-Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, did just that.
Established by the IACP and the State Department in October 2010, the Iraqi Police Education Program (IPEP) is a collaborative international program working to develop the leadership capabilities of senior Iraqi and Kurdish police officers. Working with various federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies across the U.S., this program stresses training in critical incident command, community policing, crime scene management and leadership development using IACP’s Leadership in Police Organizations℠.
In May 2012, the IACP training coordinators welcomed a class of ten Iraqi officers to the United States for the fourth of such rotations. Embarking on a twenty-one day tour, these officers, ranking from Captain to Lt. Colonel, trained alongside officers from the Pennsylvania State Police and the Ocean City and the Fairfax Country, VA police department.
It’s evident, from the program evaluations and interviews, that the provided instruction is well received by the Iraqi officers. The IPEP is proud to not only have worked with these individual officers, but also to have played a part in bringing them into the international law enforcement community and engaging them in international cooperation. In many ways, this opportunity is a landmark, eye opening experience for both Iraqi and American law enforcement officers as daily conversations reveal the common issues with which they both deal.
Ultimately, these officers are fellow officers who confront similar, if not more dangers abroad. The IPEP program is an insightful experience for all parties involved and is a powerful force for dispelling misconceptions within the global law enforcement community. Hopefully, the IACP, in conjunction with the State Department and our partner police departments, will continue to assist in training for departments all around the world and thereby continue our mutual education.