WASHINGTON – If you have 10 years experience in law enforcement, are in excellent health and know how to drive a stick shift vehicle, Uncle Sam may have a job for you. In Iraq.
The State Department's Web site says the recruitment effort is aimed at re-establishing "police, justice and prison functions in post-conflict Iraq."
There are about 150 such openings for Iraq duty in the short term but the State Department says 1,000 additional slots will open over time.
The Internet posting say interested applicants must be active duty, retired or recently separated sworn police officers, correctional officers or experienced judicial experts.
Dyncorp, a government contractor, has been assigned the task of filling the 150 openings. The Web site gives few details beyond saying that people with specialized skills are being sought. Generalists need not apply.
U.S. officials made clear that those who sign up will not be going to Iraq as beat police officers.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Thursday there have been some positive steps on the security front in Iraq following the anarchy of a week ago that included widespread looting.
Boucher said about 2,000 Iraqi police are back on the job and that joint patrols with coalition forces have begun.
As the process continues, Boucher said, some of the American law enforcement specialists assigned to the country will train the Iraqis.
The administration also is hopeful some European countries may contribute peacekeepers to Iraq.
The leaders of Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain — three backers of the U.S.-led war — have indicated such an intention.
"There is a desperate need for stabilization forces in Iraq, here and now," Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Wednesday.
Revamping the police force is part of Iraq reconstruction effort being led by retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner.
State Department officials say law enforcement personnel from the deposed regime who do not have a history of torture or other serious blemishes could qualify for service in the new Iraq.
They say the vetting process has already begun and will accelerate in the coming days when 26 U.S. police and judicial officials arrive in Iraq.
The Pentagon is eager for help on the security front because much of the law enforcement burden has fallen on U.S. combat troops.