The following is my English translation of excerpts from “A Soldier from Oman, Memory’s Nectar” by (ret.) Inspector-General Said bin Rashid al Kalbani.
From a different site an altogether different experience started.
With the same enthusiasm and energy, I chose for myself a different place, a place that would, nonetheless, set me on the same military path that I had dreamt of in my first young days.
It was September 15, 1968, a day I shall never forget, another step in my career, another step in my life, the day on which I started work in the police force, in the Wadi Al Arsh based “Oman Jandramat”.
When I arrived at the centre of the Oman Coastal Regiment at ten o’clock in the morning, I asked the gateman about Warrant Officer Salim al Sobhi. Following the directions he gave me, I went to Al Sobhi, who later took me to the office of Maj. Hockett.
Upon meeting the major, I was transferred officially to the “Capital Police”, with number 82 to replace my previous army number, 4973. I remember meeting, in addition to Salim al Sobhi, Private Abdullah al Amri and Private Saif al Qayyoudhi who joined us later. With him the number of those joining the police from the army was seven.
We stayed in Wadi Al Arsh for about a month, attending lectures on police principles. The lectures were given in English by Maj. Hockett and then translated into Arabic by Sayyid Saif bin Sultan al Busaidy. The goal was to prepare us as trainers. (Maj. Hockett was an army man with police experience from his time in Tanganyika. I shall later provide more biographical information about him).
We were trained to carry out roles related to driving licences, traffic, fastening and unfastening law breakers’ chains, putting the accused in jail, preserving their personal possessions and recording their statements in the accusation page and the daily sheet, controlling riots, announcing night curfew, carrying lanterns in Muscat to ensure that nobody was outside in the street, closing the three Gates , and guarding the barza and the courts.
From Wadi Al Arsh we moved to the training centre in Ghala. We saw there a platoon of policemen coming from the army . We began to train them in the manner we were trained in Al Seeb, where the instructions, the programs and the daily duties were on a sheet written by Maj. Hockett and translated into Arabic by the teacher Ahmad bin Abdul Aziz Al Raisi.
We were joined later by two Omanis who were working in the Bahraini police force: Corp. Abideen bin Shambeh al Balushi, a specialist in field training and controlling riots and Private Ali bin Abdulkarim al Houti, a specialist in traffic. Then others joined as trainers, some of whom came from the army such as Lieut. Hassan Allah Dad al Balushi, Corp. Masaud bin Obaid al Hosni and Srg. Ahmad bin Saleh al Balushi, who subsequently became a quartermaster.