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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The two men who are to lead the Israel Police for the next several years have at least one thing in common: they both started their service in blue in 1977. In 30 years, they have both worked their way up the ladder of command.
Cmdr. Dudi Cohen may not have been Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter's first choice for the position of police chief, but the Central District commander boasts a varied resume of field commands.
Cohen, 51, began his service in the Israel Police after a stint in the IDF as an officer in the Paratroopers Brigade.
As an officer in the police, Cohen began in Tel Aviv, serving as Herzliya station chief and the head of the Tel Aviv District's Central Investigative Unit. Later, Cohen moved to the Southern District, where he commanded the Negev Subdistrict and served as the district's assistant commander of intelligence and commander of district operations, before being appointed to lead the district in 2004.
From there on, Cohen began a series of whirlwind appointments. Within six months of being named to lead the Southern District in June of 2004, he was tapped to head the Investigations Department through its unification with Intelligence Department.
Cohen had been in that position for slightly over a year when, in April 2006, he was sworn in as commander of the Central District.
Cohen is a father of two and a resident of the Tel Aviv suburb Givatayim. He holds a BA from Haifa University in political science and an MA in education.
Cmdr. Shahar Ayalon, who has been nominated to serve as Cohen's lieutenant. is four years older and has earned a citation for excellence.
Ayalon, too served first in the Tel Aviv District, where he was a patrol officer. After commanding the Eilat Station and the Habira Station in Jerusalem, he served as the assistant commander of police operations and assistant commander of the Tel Aviv District.
In early 2001, Ayalon took command of the Samaria and Judea District, a position he held during three years of intifada. In August 2004, he was tapped to lead the Traffic Division.
Following the retirement of Cmdr. Dan Ronen, Ayalon began to head the Northern District only two weeks ago.
Ayalon is married and has two children. He holds a BA in political science and sociology and an MA in political science.