Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

More Gear For Iraqi Police

I'm a big fan of Operation Soldier, which takes care of the families of wounded soldiers and equips Iraqi police with state-of-the-art gear so they can take over from our forces sooner.

They've been busy; I just got this news release:
Iraq's police officers will be better protected on their day-to-day duties, thanks to a new nationwide initiative called Operation Soldier's Brotherhood of the Badge project. Created to provide much-needed police equipment and vests to Iraqi police officers currently in training, Operation Soldier wants to help Iraq establish a stable, modern police force, to help American troops finish the job in Iraq and come home.

Mike Harris, co-founder of Operation Soldier, recognizes a problem when he sees one, and he saw a tremendous one: A need to equip the Iraqi police that are being trained by our military, with safety equipment.

"When these Iraqi police complete their training the only safety equipment they get is a Glock handgun -- with no holster or any other police gear," says Harris. "To me, that was appalling. I care about the safety of these new officers because there is a common bond among us that all officers share: we want to survive our daily patrol. Without gear, chances of survival are significantly diminished."

He adds, "The quicker we can get the local police in Iraq to do their job -- and do their job well -- the quicker our troops will come home."

With this in mind, Harris went into action. He contacted Operation Soldier Board Member, and fellow police officer, Brian Burry. [Honest disclosure: Brian's my brother in law.] Together, they formed a plan, and started soliciting for safety equipment. Protective vests, flashlights, holsters and almost anything else a police department was about to discard was received. The Brotherhood of the Badge Project was born.

Since 2004, Operation Soldier's Brotherhood of the Badge project has been instrumental in providing equipment and training support, as a show of patriotism and police fraternity between officers in the U.S. and Iraq. To date, the Brotherhood of the Badge Project has shipped over 10,000 vests to Iraq.

"This project has been a very rewarding experience," says Brian Burry, co-founder of Operation Soldier. "These Iraqi police are proud to be police, want freedom and really need our support. This new safety equipment instills incredible confidence in these officers and has proven to save several lives already. Our project is making a difference."

Operation Solder's Brotherhood of the Badge team recently partnered with CHIEF, a leading supplier of high-quality products created to meet the changing needs of the Public Safety and Surveying industries, to provide a special procurement of 2,000 brand-new ballistic vests to Iraqi police officers currently in training.

As a partner of the program, CHIEF is donating in excess of $200,000 worth of public-safety equipment for the Iraqi police. This includes day-to-day gear such as flashlights, duty gear, apparel and boots. CHIEF sees this project as a unique opportunity to show its support for national and international police and military operations to achieve a stable, democratic and independent government in Iraq.

It's a volunteer group that's dependent on the cooperation of police departments and private contributions. They'd appreciate any support you could provide.