As Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter arrived at Traffic Police Headquarters in Beit Dagan on Sunday morning, Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi was nowhere to be seen, and rumors abounded that Dichter's patience with the embattled top cop had run dry.
But when the two emerged together from the ultra-hi-tech traffic control center, the former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) head reinforced his support of the police chief, despite the warning letter that Karadi received from the Zeiler Commission last week.
"This morning, too, I support the inspector-general. The question of a crisis of confidence was born and died in media headlines," Dichter told reporters, referring to Friday's headlines that Dichter was going to fire Karadi.
"My participation in the Zeiler Commission discussions has ended and nothing has changed with regard to my relations with the inspector-general or any other officers who received warning letters."
Dichter stressed that the focus of Sunday morning's show of organizational cohesion was to emphasize the importance of combating traffic accidents and fatalities.
The minister began his day at 5:30, participating in the early morning briefing for traffic police. He then took to the road in a patrol car, wearing a yellow vest and accompanied by Traffic Police chief Cmdr. Shahar Ayalon. The two managed, in the course of their short patrol, to come across a 19-year-old IDF driver who was driving at 144 kph. While concerned at being caught speeding, the new driver failed to identify who had pulled him over.
Arriving at Beit Dagan, Dichter and Ayalon spoke with Karadi, and the three strolled across a covered area in which the Traffic Division policemen displayed their equipment, from undercover radar cars to breathalyzer test kits. Dichter paused to examine each object, and made sure to ask questions.
The entourage then toured the new state-of-the-art traffic control center, built a year-and-a-half ago, before venturing back outside to finish the visit.
"We've been through a not-so-easy week," Karadi told reporters at the end of the visit. "And now, we are busy with trying to return to the routine."
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