Police Station Rebuilt, Reopens 32 Days After Bombing
Iraq, – Security concerns remained high as local Iraqi police
officers and Coalition officials attended a ribbon cutting ceremony
last week at the Althaqafa Police Station, celebrating its reconstruction
after a suicide bombing nearly five weeks ago, according to Combined
Joint Task Force-7 officials.
The Jan. 31
explosion occurred when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device
detonated outside the station. The blast killed 10 Iraqi police
officers, some of whom were waiting in line to receive their paychecks.
the attack on the police station, the 503rd Military Police Battalion
took responsibility to complete the statement of work, bid the
contract for the construction and provide oversight during building.
The 503rd MP Battalion is under the operational control of Task
Force Olympia in northern Iraq.
work here shows a continued commitment of the Coalition to help
rebuild Iraq so they may become more self-sufficient," said
Lt. Col. Jerry Stevenson, commander 503rd MP Battalion.
outer walls and two outer rooms were damaged and all of the windows
were blown out from the explosion. Computers and furniture were
also damaged from the shock and a sizable crater was left in front
of the station.
immediately to start repairing the damage.
to give the Mosul community the message that the police will not
stop functioning," Stevenson said. "This will also tell
terrorists that the police will not be deterred."
Emergency Response Program, appropriated by Congress to fund humanitarian
projects, allowed Task Force Olympia Commander Brig. Gen. Carter
Ham to authorize the use of $25,000 to repair the station.
"On Jan. 31, we learned that there are many people opposed
to the progress in Iraq," Ham said at the ceremony. "This
police station will stand here now as a memory to those police
officers who sacrificed for the people of Mosul"
A local contractor,
Wameedh and Oday of Mosul, was awarded the contract for reconstruction
and local workers completed the project a few days before deadline.
Capt. Dan Kuecker, Project Purchasing Officer for Task Force Olympia,
said using local contractors helps the Coalition rebuild Iraq’s
infrastructure. It provides work for businesses and puts money
into the Iraqi economy.
included clearing debris, repairing the station’s structure, replacing
windows, doors and repainting. Security precautions have been
implemented in response to the attack, including the construction
of an outer concrete fence reinforced with steel and modified
traffic patterns. Officers are outside while closed-captioned
security systems have been installed to help prevent similar attacks
in the future.
in a neighborhood with high crime rates and having been attacked
twice since Jan. 31, the station remains staffed to show the community
it’s trying to maintain a safe environment for Mosul.
in May, the citizens had a lot of distrust in the police department,"
Stevenson said. "We hope to build their confidence by demonstrating
the police are there to help the community."
it’s unfortunate there have been a lot of wounded police officers,
they are fighting for a good cause," Mosul Chief of Police,
Mohamad Barhawee, said at the ceremony.
people of Mosul can be proud of the chief and all of their police
officers who worked so bravely for all of us," Ham said.
"Our message to the terrorists is that the police will stand
strong and we’ll stand beside them. And we will succeed."