The Iraq Police Education Program (IPEP) was a cooperative effort from 2010 to 2015 between the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to expose visiting Iraq police officers to United States law enforcement training and policing techniques. Using classroom and field environments in police departments across the United States, the Iraqi police officers were trained in all aspects of policing to include patrol, crime scene investigation, and critical incident command leadership training. Although this program has ended, the effects of progressive law enforcement have been embedded in Iraqi policing techniques.
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About the IPEP Program
INL initially identified a need to expose senior Iraqi and Kurdish National Police to U.S. law enforcement techniques, policy, operations, and training. The goal of the program was to help provide them with the tools they need to professionalize their civil law enforcement institutions in Iraq. Specifically, they participated in training on leadership, critical incident, crime scene investigations, and field tactics management. A special emphasis was placed on classroom and field training on investigative techniques for evidence and forensic information collection, interviewing, and other techniques designed to afford suspects “due process.” In addition, they were given examples of effective community policing methods for engaging the local population, maintaining law and order through fair and impartial policing, and ensuring accountability to the citizens to build their trust, as a models for when they return home. Finally, they were provided with examples of how law enforcement departments work interdependently to ensure that suspect’s rights and the state’s interests are protected within legal frameworks through interviews of and interaction with these U.S. police personnel in their professional work environments.
IACP worked with over 35 state, local and federal partner law enforcement organizations to create an environment where the Iraqi, Kurdish and American participants could train and work together in a manner that encourages the free exchange of information, ideas and the establishment of professional and personal relationships. By shadowing officers in host police departments, and training with them on the street and in the classroom, the Iraqi and Kurdish officers got classroom learning and “hands on” field training. By working and socializing together, we established trust between the host officers, the IACP staff and the Iraqi participants, laying a foundation that sustains the program in the future through the global reach of technology.
To help cultivate and develop current and future leaders to affect change, the officers were trained in a behavioral science-based leadership development program (Leadership in Police OrganizationsSM) that IACP developed and is currently working with police departments in 32 states and Canada to deliver. The LPOSM Program, the origins of which are at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point’s behavioral sciences department, focuses on giving leaders an understanding of how individuals are influenced, led, and motivated. It then teaches how groups form and develop, make decisions, and how change can be implemented using this knowledge of individual and group development. Armed with this information, the participants will have additional tools to return to Iraq and increase accountability, motivation, and satisfaction of their personnel, while implementing critical changes to Iraqi civil policing. The participants also received ten total days of training (six days of the leadership training, two days of critical incident and or tactical training management and two days of crime scene management) and participate in ride-a-longs and community meetings with the hosting agency. They also received lab and fusion center tours.
An added benefit to the program was derived from the Iraqi police officers exposure to the U.S. culture and development of interpersonal relationships with our citizens. Often arriving with very negative images of our way of life, these officers returned home with a new perspective of the U.S. that they were able to relate to their families, friends and fellow officers.
During the period of performance (2010-2015), IACP trained 170 Iraqi officers with the help of numerous law enforcement agencies across the USA.