Karadi stresses community role and police budget

Police Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi toured the Rehovot Police Station Tuesday, and addressed the dual themes of community-based policing and budget-conscious reforms. Karadi was accompanied on his visit by Central District Police Chief Cmdr. Dudi Cohen and Shfela Subdistrict Police Chief Asst.-Cmdr. Yifrah Duchovny. During the course of the visit, the station commander described his unit's activities and Karadi said that he was impressed by the data that was presented with regards to the station's battle against local crime. "We are in the midst of a process to strengthen local stations in order to increase public safety. I see here the strength of the station as part of the community," Karadi told gathered police officers. "I know that such a revolution takes time and great resources and I will do everything I can to bring those resources to the organization," the police chief promised. A few dozen kilometers away, community-police relations took a lighter turn Monday evening as local youth soccer teams faced off against the local police team in crime-ridden Lod. The game, meant to allow youth from poverty-stricken neighborhoods to see a personal side of the officers that patrol their streets, was part of a program initiated by Lod Police Chief Lt.-Cmdr. Amichai Eshed. Also on Monday, the Ramat Hasharon Local Council announced that it would be toughening up its community's police force after the closing of the local police station. Citing the murders of local residents Justice Adi Azar and lawyer Anat Flinner, the municipality announced that it was going to procure two new patrol cars, recruit 15 combat-trained inspectors, and reestablish the city's volunteer police unit. Ramat Hasharon Mayor Itzik Rochberger stressed the common interests held by the police and the municipality. "Our joint policy is to see more police officers across town who are going to enforce the law and contribute to the safety of our residents," said Rochberger. The 15 inspectors will fill the void that was created following the removal of the local police station. Rochberger also reiterated calls to re-establish the city's police station, emphasizing that non-police security inspectors would not be able to offer the same protection as police coverage. On Wednesday, the middle ranks of the police establishment - from station commanders through assistant district commanders - are to attend a conference designed to "pass on the message that the police must have a sense of business management," police said Tuesday. The conference will address the new police policy through which police units will be run as independent financial entities. Each unit, up to the level of municipal stations, will have to adhere to pre-determined budgetary guidelines for gasoline, water, electricity and vehicle damage expenditures.