Top Cops Return From Anti-Terror Program In Israel
Fourteen of the most senior police chiefs, sheriffs and state police commanders returned from Israel last week after five days of intensively studying counter terrorism techniques. These law enforcement executives traveled to Israel as participants in JINSA’s Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP).
Fourteen of the most senior police chiefs, sheriffs and state police commanders returned from Israel last week after five days of intensively studying counter terrorism techniques. These law enforcement executives traveled to Israel as participants in JINSA’s Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP). Modeled after the JINSA’s extremely successful Flag & General Officers Trip, the LEEP program is designed to establish cooperation between American and Israeli law enforcement personnel and to give the American law enforcement community access to the hard “lessons learned” by the Israelis in the interdiction of and response to all forms of terrorism.
The Israeli National Police hosted the JINSA group in cooperation with the Israel Security Agency and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The delegation studied methods and observed techniques used by Israeli police forces in preventing and reacting to suicide bombers. The agenda also focused on the critical role of intelligence gathering and interagency information sharing.
Israeli commanders of bomb disposal and undercover units briefed the delegation on the increasing sophistication of domestic terrorists, who can employ a range of weapons, from knives and guns, to car bombs or cell phones outfitted with explosives. American officials learned about the mindset of a suicide bomber – the true “smart bomb” – and how to spot trouble signs. One of the highlights of the intensive five-day schedule was a nighttime patrol with the Tel Aviv Police.
Israeli experts discussed how to secure large venues, such as shopping malls, sporting events and concerts, without disrupting the enjoyment of the public.
The group also took time to look at the Security Fence as a defensive measure to lessen the possibility of terrorist infiltration. The saw where the fence has already been constructed as well as planned future sights. The consensus of the group was that in light of prior Israeli casualties the fence has saved lives.
Participants represented Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Boston, Minneapolis, Upstate New York, New Jersey, San Diego, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina. They were invited by JINSA through a process that considered geographic region, involvement in national professional policing organizations and professional responsibilities in the fight against terrorism. Chief Joseph Polisar, the President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police was a participant in the program. The IACP is the largest law enforcement organization in the world. All other major American law enforcement organizations were represented on the trip including the Major Cities Sheriffs Association and the Police Executive Research Forum.
Steven Pomerantz, a former Assistant Director of the FBI and a member of JINSA’s Board of Advisors, led in the planning and execution of the trip on the American side. In summing up the goals of the LEEP project he noted, “Nothing can replicate American officials seeing these types of problems firsthand and the systems that are put in place to deal with them.”