Anbar province inaugurated community police departments in every provincial police station Wednesday (February 1st) in an effort to offer guidance to local youth.
"The opening of community police departments is intended at help adolescents by monitoring the youth and children out of concern they could be exploited for terrorist activities," said Maj. Gen. Hadi Erzayj, commander of Anbar provincial police.
Erzayj told Mawtani that the responsibilities of the community police include following up on students who dropped out, returning them to school, and resolving social problems that parents encounter.
He said 107 community police departments were opened throughout Anbar province, and 413 police officers and personnel participated in training courses at the police academy.
Brig. Gen. Khamees al-Heety, deputy commander of the community police directorate, said the Ministry of Interior and Anbar officials provided the necessary support to open the community police departments.
"Now that the police are in full control of the security situation in collaboration with the Iraqi army, they are also responsible for increasing awareness and training citizens to fight terrorism and crime, especially among children. They will support parents by supervising their sons and help them solve the problems they face," he told Mawtani.
Al-Heety said the community police will also be involved in social, tribal, economic and health duties. The activities include sponsoring large seminars to shed light on supporting the security services, fighting terrorism, supporting the government's plans to eliminate administrative and financial corruption, and fighting all types of crime.
He said the community police will collaborate with educational departments to return dropouts to school and eliminate illiteracy. Training workshops for the unemployed will be organised so they can acquire vocational and technical skills in addition to receiving financial support.
Al-Heety said the community police departments will cooperate with all the security services and government agencies and institutions to wipe out drug use and fight smoking by holding seminars at schools and colleges.
Lt. Col. Munim al-Barakat, director of the community police section in Ramadi, said all the community police departments in the province include female staff members who specialise in providing services for women in Anbar.
Al-Barakat told Mawtani that women can obtain training on tailoring and house management in addition to learning about the dangers of family violence and the prohibition on violence against children.
He said the community police section will host seminars to explain women's rights in society and their responsibilities in the community.
Al-Barakat said these departments will work on eliminating the use of children labour, end employment of children in hazardous industrial professions, and discourage the practice of begging.