Law enforcement officials in Iraq have a new way to get up and running in places recently liberated from ISIS: mobile police stations, or what some are calling “police in a box.”
The U.S.-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS is providing 100 shipping containers filled with everything law enforcement officials need to do their jobs: two trucks, GPS, secure weapons-storage lockers, checkpoint equipment, water hookups, generators, laptops, furniture and a large tent with workspaces.
“The idea is that they can get in there very quickly within a day,” said Canadian Brigadier General Dave Anderson, a coalition adviser to Iraqi leaders.
In July Iraq deployed the first such station to Mosul, where the Iraqi army won a nine-month campaign to free the city from ISIS control.
“It’s really important to the people of Mosul — the Moslawis — to have a sense of normalcy,” Anderson said in a Pentagon briefing with reporters via a teleconference from Iraq.
Mobile police stations will allow police to establish a reassuring presence in war-torn Mosul, as well as in Kirkuk, Saladin, Diyala, Anbar and Nineveh provinces.
An Iraqi innovation
Anderson said that the idea for the pop-up stations came from a workshop with 70 Iraqi senior police officers. The United States provided $25 million to pay for the equipment.
“I need to acknowledge the professionalism and bravery of all the members of the Iraqi Security Forces and our partner forces,” Anderson said. “[They] are taking the fight to a truly evil and increasingly desperate organization.”
Coalition forces have trained 17,000 police and 6,000 border guards to supplement Iraq’s forces.
In addition to its “police in a box” shipping containers, Iraq will roll out separate “border guard in a box” containers to assist police on the Iraqi border with Syrian.
“The latest struggles were a big challenge for the Iraqi people, and we are now only hours away from the great victory against ISIS,” said Major General Hamed Al-Husseini, Commander of the Border Guards of Iraq. “And we will protect our borders and start new operations soon.”