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
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.
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
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