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February 20, 2004
South Central Region
Hilary White


Hilla, Babil Province, Iraq. The first class of the Babil Province Special Reaction Police Unit recently graduated. The graduation ceremony included a live fire exercise and a hostage rescue technique demonstration.

A strong police force is an integral part of the increased security within the Province. These officers will also be used as trainers for other police units throughout the South Central Region. The five week course included classroom instruction, weapons training, first aid, hostage rescue, and physical training. In order to be placed in this highly competitive course, students were required to have already served as police officers.

The former regime practiced terrible brutality against the people of South Central Iraq. So many husbands, fathers, and sons were killed by Saddam's regime, that men represent less than 40% of the population. Every graduate of the Babil Province Special Reaction Police Unit had at least one family member killed by Saddam Hussein's regime. One new graduate, a 29 year-old police officer from Babil Province, said:
“My brother was killed by Saddam. I am happy to be a member of this unit so I can help provide security for Hilla, apply justice, and serve the innocent people of this town.”
In a few weeks, the graduates will partake in Riot Control Training and will then be assigned to various police departments throughout Babil Province. In addition to their special hostage rescue skills, the graduates will serve as role models for other police officers.
The Iraqi Police, the 442nd Military Police Company, the Philippine National Police, and the Coalition Provisional Authority worked together to train the special reaction police unit.

The people of Babil Province can take pride in these highly trained police officers. The graduates of the special reaction police unit represent another example of Iraqis playing an ever increasing role in providing security for their country as they move toward a sovereign, democratic government.



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