New York Post
April 17, 2003

APPLE COPS TO JOIN BAGHDAD'S FINEST

By MURRAY WEISS

    
LIFE & LIMB:
A looter's artificial leg comes off yesterday as he's subdued by troops who caught him robbing a Baghdad bank vault. The State Department hopes that recruiting past and current NYPD cops to keep order will free troops from law-enforcement tasks
.
- David Guttenfelder/AP
 

Call it Baghdad Blue.

The State Department is looking for present and former NYPD cops willing to help restore order in Iraq by rebuilding and training new police departments in the post-Saddam Hussein era, The Post has learned.

During the next month, the federal government wants to find as many as 1,150 cops, correction officers and other law-enforcement and criminal-justice experts to participate in the proposed establishment of U.S.-modeled police departments and court and prison systems.

Julie Shinnick, a State Department spokeswoman, said as early as Sunday the first of 26 Justice Department officials will arrive in Baghdad to join retired Gen. Jay Garner's new Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. They will help determine how many cops, advisers and trainers will be needed to help rebuild police forces and courts.

She said the feds have already asked Dyncorp International to recruit 150 candidates to "get the ball rolling" and then search for as many as another 1,000 people with law-enforcement experience who are ready to go to Iraq.

While the search is nationwide, the people behind it are especially interested in present and former Big Apple law enforcers, sources said.

And NYPD cops are brimming with interest, with word of mouth growing around the force.

Officials were not certain what the salary would be for the so-called police, prison and justice advisers, but they estimated it would be $80,000 a year.

"We are trying to identify law-enforcement professionals for an expected mission to Iraq to help in training counseling from police to courts to corrections," she said.

"At this point, there are no plans to send them to enforce law and order in Iraq," she said. We will be working within existing Iraqi structures to stand up, advise and train and Iraqi police force."

Qualifying candidates must be U.S. citizens with a total of 10 years of law-enforcement experience, must speak English, have a driver's license and a valid U.S. passport, Dyncorp ads said.

Dyncorp began the recruitment drive on April 1, and already has received more than 150 applicants with solid credentials, company spokesman Mike Dickerson said.

He could not say if any of the applicants were from New York.

Anyone interested in the International Police Program's Iraq Mission is asked to call (866) 258-8770.