The blog of Chicago-based freelance writer David Johnsen.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
International Police Missions
Last night my wife came home from work with a nutty idea. "Have you ever heard of a company called DynCorp?" she asked. Hmm, it sounded familiar... Yes, I had just read about them yesterday afternoon in Censored 2004: The Top 25 Censored News Stories in an article about the privatization of the military:

In April 2003, DynCorp was also awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to build a private police force in post-Saddam Iraq. Potential officers do not need to speak Arabic and must be U.S. citizens and current or former police officers, according to the London Observer. Private police provided by DynCorp working for the U.N. in Bosnia were accused of buying and selling prostitutes, including a 12-year-old girl. Others were accused of videotaping the rape of one of the women.
They are looking for police officers with five years of experience to do police work in Iraq, Afghanistan, Liberia, and East Timor. Another Chicago police officer said he was planning to go to Afghanistan for a year. He could make $100,000 in a year with no federal taxes since he would be out of the U.S. The pay in Iraq is even higher, up to $120,000. He offered to hook her up with his recruiter to get her "on the fast track" so she could start within a month. Greed was getting the best of her, and she was actually considering it.

My role here was obvious: "Oh, please honey, don't go, it's too dangerous!" Ha! As if I could utter such hysterical words. I was busy figuring out which new computer to buy with that extra cash. No, I refused to play along. Besides, since she let me take my cross-country bike trip three years ago, who am I to stand in the way of her adventure? At her request, I visited the recruiting web site and printed a dozen pages of information.

Naturally, my apparently apathetic reaction made her mad. Despite her college minor in women's studies, she said, "I want you to be a caveman." So I grabbed her by the hair and dragged her around the house for a while. No, actually I just told her I knew she was trying to elicit an emotionally charged response, and I wouldn't indulge her: "You can do whatever you want to do." I knew she would never do it anyway. We can't go on vacation for a week without her missing the dogs. She could never leave them behind for a year abroad, especially the older one. She could live without me, but not without them.

When she floated the idea to her mother today, she got the reaction she had wanted from me anyway. And I refuse to be the worrywart that my mother-in-law is. In fact, I made a conscious decision when I met my wife that I was not going to worry about her job. It's probably the best choice I've ever made regarding my mental health.

By the time she left for work tonight, she seemed to be talking herself out of it. I guess I won't be getting that new computer after all.


I am here in Iraq now. It is not all that bad if you don't mind someone trying to kill you almost every day. I have been here for three months and have been through two mortar and one rocket attack, each very close calls.

The other night a friend and I was standing by a body of water looking at the fish when something splashed into the water just 15 feet in front of us. He thought it was a bird diving for fish but no bird surfaced in 20 minutes. It was a 60mm mortar round that did not go off. We just stood there like this happened every day...and it almost does.

The big thing your wife would have to deal with is the separation from family. You would deal with wondering every day if she is ok. There are no safe places here.

By the way....the Bosnian and Kosovo bad press was about UN Police not Dyn Corp Police. The press was about other international police officers not American. Yes we had our idiots but by far USA cops are very professional.

Sam Savage..somewhere in Iraq.
Sam, Let me assure you of one thing, the Hardest thing you will deal with is leaving the wife and kids for a year... If you plan your trips right you can be back home every 4 months, and still be tax free...I was there for a year and thinking of doing another tour.. the new pay for Iraq is 134.110.08...Plus a 3,000 sign on...Dyn as far as pay never failed me.. always on time and to the penny... Logistics well lets just say needs work... I was in the southern region for the entire year... Internet the last 3 months some cell phone, in and out... Mail took 2 weeks or more to mail out, 2 to 3 weeks in....
I have been doing International Police Missions since 2000. Some are good and not so good. The contractors that pay you through the State Dept. are all similiar. Some are better than others. DynCorp is not that bad and certainly not the worst. They do pay you on time. The company CPI is one of the best in the business and the company PAE is one of the worst. PAE is not big on straight answers or people skills with their
employees (to be polite).

The money is good and if you invest wisely you can come out way ahead of the game.You can accomplish your financial goals years before working at a cops salary in the USA.

The time away from family is not good and everyone should be onboard at home or it will not work. I have also seen people in mission run through with the money and have nothing to show for their time in mission. But you can't save some people from themselves.

Positive attitude and some goals will work. I have proved that!
I am thinking of doing a tour with DynCorp now. I would leave in October. Is there companies that either pay better or take better care of you than DynCorp?


Also it sounds like it is pretty dangerous.
i sent in an application to dyncorp, they suspended operations today due to issues with the state dept. are there any other companies hiring
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