In the Shadow of the Swords: The Baghdad Police Academy

By: D.W. Wilber

Following the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent fall of the regime of Saddam Hussein, the U.S. government embarked upon a reconstruction effort which included rebuilding an Iraqi National Police. Retired and former American Police Officers were contracted to travel to Iraq to train this new police force. Dependent on their experience and ingenuity to make life bearable under very austere conditions, and relying on the ‘gallows sense of humor’ they had acquired during their time in law enforcement back in the States, the instructors persevered in their task, often under trying and difficult circumstances, as well as hostile fire from insurgents determined to prevent the Iraqi police from regaining control of the streets of Baghdad.

Life at the Police Academy varied from sheer boredom to moments of terror as mortars and rockets rained in. Leaving the academy to travel through the streets of Baghdad to the Green Zone for meetings could easily result in being ambushed. D. W. Wilber recounts his experiences as part of this effort, and the unique personalities who came to Baghdad to serve as instructors to the Iraqi Police Cadets attending the Baghdad Police Academy.

Table of Contents

There’s a Hell of a Gunfight going on
Back Home, to the World Again
Introduction to ICITAP, Baghdad
Baghdad or Bust
Never Have so Many Done so Little for so Much
An Armed Cop is a Happy Cop
Into the Red Zone
Camp Shield (The Baghdad Police Academy)
Happy New Year From Baghdad
Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
Choir Practice, Iraq Style“Thank You For Your Service”
And So It Begins (The First Day)
The Tin Hut
Promotion, or Not
Morale Phone ? What Morale Phone ?
Hide and Seek, For Thirteen Thousand Dollars a Month
The Seven Dead Puppies Saloon
Banking With a Gun on Your Hip
Wiffle Ball Champs
Graduation
Personalities
Going Home
Lessons Learned

 

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