Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch is pushing for legislation that would bar former police officers from working in consulting or other professional fields for suspected organized crime figures immediately after the policemen retire.
Under Aharonovitch's proposal, which he has presented to Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz, former police officers would be required to take a "cooling-off" period after they leave the police force, before they could work for anyone believed to be involved in criminal activities.
Cmdr. (ret.) Yaakov Borovsky, former northern district police chief, told The Jerusalem Post Monday that even though he hadn't heard of widespread cases of former police officers working for organized crime, "even one case is too much."
"We must stop people wearing the uniform from working for organized crime," Borovsky said.
Criminologist Shlomo Shoham, who teaches at Tel Aviv University, said a law like the one proposed by Aharonovitch "is completely justified," not necessarily from a legal standpoint, but because the recently-retired officers are privy to information that is often still relevant to ongoing investigations.
"They must be required to take a cooling off period, because the information they have is still current. They need to wait at least a year," Shoham said.
Former Israel Police Intelligence Branch head Cmdr. (ret.) Moshe Mizrahi said that there have been "more than just a few cases" where cops worked in consulting or other fields for known criminals after they left the police force, but the proposed legislation, while understandable, would still not have a great practical effect.
"If somebody goes to work for a criminal and they decide to cross the line and pass information they're not allowed to, they'll be prosecuted," Mizrahi said, adding that he doesn't think the year cooling-off period would be a cure-all.
"If some intelligence is relevant now, it will be a year from now. Sometimes investigations can take years before you get your hand on your target."
Mizrahi also said the law could discriminate against police officers by limiting their post-retirement options, when no such limitations were placed on attorneys or state prosecutors.