Galilee chief tapped to take over police technology

The musical chairs at the top level of the Northern District police seem to be shifting again, with Galilee Subdistrict Chief Lt.-Cmdr. Nir Mariash fingered for transfer after barely a year in the position. Mariash, who has piloted the northernmost subdistrict through a series of crises and embarrassments, is on the short list to succeed former Border Police commander Cmdr. Hassan Faris as director of the Israel Police's technology and logistics division. Mariash, who is considered to be a rising star in the police, has thus far ascended through the ranks holding field-related positions. The administrative job would be a change for the man who was the Haifa police chief during the Second Lebanon War, but who has a reputation as something of an intellectual, holding an MBA from Harvard University and speaking fluent English. The move would fit in with the policy advocated both by Police Chief Insp.-Gen. David Cohen and Public Security Minister Avi Dichter to increase the technological abilities of the Israel Police, bringing them closer to par with other Western countries. Officers in the Northern District said that while the move was on the table, it was not completely a done deal, and that there were a number of considerations still involved. In his one-year stint in the Galilee Subdistrict, Mariash has faced a generous helping of incidents, ranging from the capture of serial rapist Benny Sela to the murder of Katzrin teenager Ta'ir Rada and, most recently, the police face-off against villagers in the Druse community of Peki'in. The posting at the Technology and Logistics Division would be far from relegation to the sidelines for Mariash. In the past, Faris emerged from leading the division to take command of the Border Police, considered a highly-competitive promotion. Ironically, Faris himself will be leaving the police this year after being passed over for the position of Mariash's boss - Northern District Chief - a job that the highest-ranking Druse officer in the police had been eyeing for years. That position changed hands twice in 2007, but neither time was the post offered to the Hurfeish native.