Acting Haifa Station Chief Dep.-Cmdr. Ahuva Tomer will soon become the first female district-level operations commander in the Israel Police, the National Headquarters announced Tuesday.
The appointment, announced as one of 31 other top-level appointments and promotions approved of by Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter brought the police force one step closer to the fulfillment of Dichter's plan to regulate and normalize promotions in the police force.
Tomer's appointment is a vote of confidence for the seasoned operational commander by her commanders, but also a groundbreaking step for women in blue. The Northern District is comparable to the Northern Command in the IDF, and no woman in the IDF has ever held such a high rank in operational command.
But Tomer told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday that she did not see the promotion as exceptional. "I have frequently been the first woman to hold the position in almost all of the positions that I have held in the police," she explained.
"I don't feel like I'm special. I do function in a predominantly male society, but I am an equal among equals and I try to be the best I can. But women need to understand that this is not just a question of equality of opportunity, but also equality of responsibility."
Tomer spoke to the Post as she directed the Haifa security surrounding the visit of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to the northern city.
She has been serving as station chief for around a month, ever since Lt.-Cmdr. Nir Mariash, the previous chief, was promoted to the position of Galilee Subdistrict commander. She said that she will miss the work in the city's police, which she characterized as "a family in which there are excellent police and excellent officers who work excellently together."
Still, she is pleased with the promotion, and emphasized repeatedly that she could not imagine another field other than action-packed operations planning and command that she would prefer more. And, Tomer added, her ambitions aim higher still along the ladder of Israel Police's operational command.
"This organization enables women to get to where they want, but they have to prove that they are as good or better than their male counterparts, and have to work hard for it." But she conditioned that statement, adding that she has yet to see a position "that a female officer can not do as well or better than her male counterparts."
Dichter's plan to regulate and normalize promotions in the force was part of his policy statement issued after taking over the ministry, following the last elections.
Dichter has argued that standardization of terms of office and promotions within the Israel Police, mirroring similar procedures in the IDF and Shin Bet, are necessary for greater administrative accountability and reducing corruption and cronyism within the police force.