A member of the Israel Police Bomb Disposal Unit gives a demonstration.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Crime scene investigations, helicopter demonstrations, canine units, border-police operations and even an escape room are just some of the action-packed events that the Israel Police Heritage Center near Beit Shemesh will host during the intermediate days of Passover next week.
The commander of the center, Supt. Shlomi Chetrit, told The Jerusalem Post that demonstrations by the different police units will give the public an inside look into how they operate.
“Building trust with the country’s citizens creates better cooperation with the police – you can’t trust something that you don’t know,” he explained. “We are the most secret government organization – people know more history about the Mossad than they do about us, and yet we are the people on the ground, who are not hiding. We deal with everything.”
Chetrit hopes that more exposure by hosting such events will change this feeling, and create a better knowledge and understanding among the public.
“Every citizen needs to know the duties of the police,” he said.
“When they need support or assistance or even when a citizen commits a crime, [it’s the] Israel Police who deals with it. In the eyes of the citizens, we are the state.”
Within the center – which first opened in 2015 and falls under the umbrella of the Israel Police Academy – there are multiple exhibits that tell the story of the police, spanning from Hebrew guard organizations of the late Ottoman period, through the Mandate police, and all the way to what the Israel Police is today.
“[The center] has very modern multimedia,” Chetrit continued.
“It tells the story of the historical aspects and how it is an important part of Israeli society. For example, there is a video called My Daddy the Police Officer, which tells the story of a young girl whose father is a policeman and how he has to go to work during a family gathering. Her grandfather is also a policeman, and he tells her stories. This tells the public what it’s like to be a police officer.”
Chetrit pointed out exhibits displaying the types of tools and technology that different units use during operations; mannequins showcasing a variety of police uniforms from specific time periods; and guided tours as well as multimedia and interactive exhibits.
He added that every police trainee also has to visit the center to learn about their specific unit.
“We want as many people coming here as possible,” Chetrit concluded. “We get a few hundred every day; during Hol Hamoed, we get over 2,000 visitors and we are so glad to have them.”
Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld endorsed Chetrit’s words, saying that next week’s events at the center will educate the public about the role of the police, giving people the opportunity to learn first-hand about what it does.
“The museum plays a key role in terms of connecting to the citizens, and our role as police,” said Rosenfeld.
“Unlike in many countries in the world, Israel Police and its units serve the entire Israeli nation... It’s a place where people can learn and listen about [its] units, its operations and the significant stages.
“At the museum itself we have groups that come and visit from all over the world, and the numbers are considerably increasing,” he added. “This is a unique opportunity to see the different levels and to learn about the reality of the Israel Police.”
Events will take place on Monday and Tuesday. Entrance is free of charge; gates open at 9 a.m., and 2 p.m. is the last time to enter the center. Events are expected to conclude at about 3 p.m. on both days.
The demonstrations will take place in the museum area.
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