By Associated Press - Sunday, May 13, 2012

BAGHDAD (AP) — The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad says it is scaling back efforts to train Iraqi police officials but has no plans to end the program completely.

A statement Sunday by the embassy denied a report in the New York Times that the $500 million Police Development Program could be eliminated by the end of the year.

Embassy spokesman Michael McClellan called the program “a vital part of the U.S.-Iraqi relationship.”

The embassy last month reported to U.S. auditors that it is withdrawing American advisers from the Baghdad Police College. Work at the police academy was a centerpiece of the training program that is the most expensive embassy initiative with Iraq.

Mr. McClellan said the move would save money but still allow advisers to help Iraq police.

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