Anti-mob unit head puts on brave face over transfer

Anti-mob unit head puts

The outgoing head of the police's Lahav 433 anti-organized crime unit is trying to put a brave face on his sudden removal from his position after just six months on the job. Cmdr. Yoram Halevi was unexpectedly reassigned to head the Civil Guard and the Community Policing Branch, in a reshuffle that was announced over the weekend by Israel Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen. The move has stirred a firestorm of media speculation over its cause. Some reports suggested Halevi had fallen out with his superior, Cmdr. Yoav Seglovitch, the head of the Operations Branch, but police sources have denied this, saying Halevi, who hails from the Anti-Terrorism Unit, was transferred because he was not suited to his position. "We don't discuss police appointments in the press," a police source told The Jerusalem Post. "Professional considerations were behind the transfer, and sometimes a commander has to accept such factors." Persistent press reports have suggested that Halevi and Seglovitch clashed repeatedly over recent months, a confrontation possibly encouraged by the fact that the men share the same rank. Halevi and Seglovitch had reportedly limited their communications to a minimal professional correspondence, leading Cohen to try to end the dispute by moving Cohen to a different position. During a meeting with his subordinates in the Lahav 433 unit on Sunday, Halevi praised the unit's accomplishment, and attempted to play down the speculation around his transfer, telling his officers the move was part of a wider reshuffling of police commanders.