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Israeli police chiefs to meet with LAPD
By BEN HARTMAN
11/11/2012
Delegation of fourteen in Los Angeles for week-long trip to learn about police work in minority communities.
 
Fourteen Israeli police commanders landed in Los Angeles on Sunday as part of a week-long trip to meet with their counterparts in Los Angeles and Washington, and discuss the complicated issues of policing in minority communities.

The delegation will be in the United States as part of a joint Israel police-Abraham Fund initiative. A previous such mission visited Northern Ireland in 2009, to learn from police patrolling mixed Protestant-Catholic areas following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

The present group is headed by Israel Police Deputy Insp.-Gen. Israel Yitzchak, and will include the commanders of a number of “mixed-cities,” including Ramle, Acre and Nazareth.

The Abraham Fund said Sunday that the trip, which was proceeded by two days of study on the issue of relating to the Arab minority in Israel, is meant “to present the station commanders with work methods and models for minority community involvement and the promotion of dialogue with the community based on trust and common goals.”

The group said the tour will study how the Los Angeles police force works with minority communities on the command and field level – as well as examine how they have repaired ties following the LA riots of 1992.

The delegation will also be taken on a tour of the Museum of Tolerance and the Los Angeles Police Academy, and will meet with civil rights activist Connie Rice.

The group said Los Angeles was chosen for the trip because of “the reforms implemented there in the wake of the LA riots of 1992, following Rodney King’s brutal arrest which resulted in 53 deaths and thousands of injuries.

“The reforms have included police training, altering work procedures and creating a framework for cooperation between the police and various minority communities,” the Abraham Fund Initiatives said on Sunday.

They added that the trip is part of the “policing in a divided society” initiative launched in collaboration with Israel to increase trust between Arabs and the police, following the events of October 2000 – when 13 Israeli Arabs died during clashes with Israeli law enforcement across the country. The initiative is supported by the US State Department and the US Institute of Peace.

In the Abraham Fund’s press release on Sunday, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro was quoted as praising the Fund’s Society-Police Initiative, which he said “draws on our country’s own experience to help Israel strengthen police-community relations, contributing to a safer and more cohesive Israeli society.”
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