‘Police in a Box’ Boosts Iraqi Security


To maintain stability and prevent the resurgence of extremism after the military defeat of Daesh in Iraq, coalition forces have set up temporary local and border security stations in Mosul and across five liberated provinces. The $50 million program is called “Police in a Box.”

“Nothing says normal like a policeman,” said Canadian Brig. Gen. D.J. Anderson. The plan will enable Iraqis to set up “temporary stations that provide a local police force with the equipment necessary to establish themselves in areas where [Daesh] destroyed their infrastructure,” he said.

The stations, called “boxes,” are large shipping containers packed with furniture, lighting, water tanks, laptops, phones, weapons storage spaces and two vehicles — everything police officers need to “set up a visible presence and immediately begin serving their citizens,” said Anderson, who leads the coalition’s mission to train Iraqi forces.

“The contents can be unpacked and set up quickly to allow the police to immediately begin serving their citizens,” Anderson said, adding that local police presence will help normalize areas that have been under Daesh’s control for years.

Iraqi police training centers received the first 100 boxes in July 2017 — 50 for local police and 50 for border guards. Ultimately, the program calls for 100 boxes for local police forces and another 100 for the border with Syria, according to the Washington Examiner.

The border guard posts will have slightly different equipment, including a small tower. The border posts will also need to be “more defensible” than police boxes, Anderson said.

To date, 15,000 police and 6,000 border guards — along with Iraqi Army, Counter Terrorism Service, tribal mobilization and Kurdish peshmerga forces — have received training from the coalition. Anderson said these training programs aim to transition to an intelligence-led, community-based form of policing.

An “effective and credible police and civil defense structure” will be critical in maintaining stability and building Iraqis’ trust in their government, Anderson said. About 25,000 police will be required in Ninawa province alone “to do the job properly,” he said.