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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 April 2006, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK
My day in Iraq: Policeman
On Friday, 7 April, the BBC News website is asking people across Iraq how they live their lives.

Here, an anonymous 31-year-old police officer in Hawija, near Tikrit, describes the changes he has witnessed in 13 years on the force.

My work is now more difficult because of the bad security situation.

I graduated as an investigation officer and now I'm a first lieutenant with the Iraq police force.

During patrols my convoy has come under attack many times from armed men, especially during election time
With extra training I will become a captain in July.

Because of the circumstances the country is in right now, the range of my work is much wider.

I have to fight terrorism and deal with the chaos by de-fusing roadside bombs and improvised devices.

In the past my duty was just to enforce the rule of Iraqi law - mainly by investigating local crime.

Now the situation requires us to take more responsibility and employ different skills.

We carry out most of our patrols and duties as joint forces with the Iraqi army. So we're basically doing the job of the Iraqi army as well.

I do this job first and foremost because I love it.

I also do it because if I were to quit and if my colleagues were to quit too, this country would face complete disaster.

There are some big challenges ahead of us, but we should be able to overcome them.

Building trust

Local people trust the Iraqi police force more and more every day. We are offering them a service.

Police recruits
Police recruits have to prepare for becoming targets themselves
There were problems after the fall of Saddam - that transitional period the country went through was dangerous - the country fell under occupying forces.

So people lost trust in authority and did not distinguish between us, the Iraqi police and the occupying forces.

But now people are beginning to regain their trust in the police force in particular because we are in direct contact with people, unlike the army who deal with the foreign forces more.

New police officers lack experience and knowledge of the job.

Most of them are not graduates of the police academy. So they affect the reputation of police when they cannot do their job properly.

During patrols my convoy has come under attack many times from armed men especially during election time.

Five of my colleagues were killed and about 10 others were injured - some of them critically, so they had to quit their jobs.

My family does not tell me to leave the police force, but they do tell me to be careful.

I am married with two kids. I would never let them become policemen when they grow up - it's too exhausting.


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