A delegation of U.S. police chiefs trained alongside Israeli security forces this week in an effort to learn cutting edge counter-terrorism tactics from the Jewish State, a country with a long history of combating targeted violent attacks. Among the dozen senior officers participating in the exercise were chiefs from the Orlando and San Bernardino police departments, two cities that recently experienced terrorism.
The program is part of an annual National Counter-Terrorism Seminar (NCTS) hosted by the Anti Defamation League (ADL). The seminar programing included classes on suicide bombing prevention and response, intelligence gathering, information sharing, the use of technology in fighting terror, and more. Officers were able to hear briefings from veteran commanders in the Israel National Police, intelligence departments, and the Israel Defense Forces on important management skills, such as leadership in a time of terror, and how to prioritize issues of crime and terrorism. The American participants said they were impressed with certain Israeli practices, such as using heavily-armed officers on motorcycles to respond quickly to threats, tactics that aren’t currently used in the US.
Orlando Police Chief John Mina—who just two months ago responded to the largest mass shooting in U.S. history—said he felt compelled to join the delegation. Mina noted, “Unfortunately, it seems like there are so many attacks [in Israel] that they have a clear sense of what they’re dealing with…we have great respect for the way things are done over here by the Israeli police.”
Over 200 law enforcement officials representing over 100 different agencies have participated in learning programs through the ADL’s sponsorship, which began hosting such programs following the September 11th attacks. This past January, a group of Massachusetts security personnel went to Israel, and focused training on security enforcement in largely populated areas in light of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.