The Jerusalem Post: Can the police properly serve the public?
I am not the most objective person to ask. But the most objective way I can answer is by saying that we provide a not bad service when it comes to everything we are responsible for fighting terror, keeping order and fighting crime. We provide a not bad solution with the resources we have at our disposal. But if you ask me as the police chief then I believe I have to provide a much better service. Israel's
citizens deserve a bigger police force so they can feel safer and receive better service.
After we proved that we could carry out disengagement, which was the most difficult and sensitive mission the police ever faced, we now need to improve the service we provide the public. If there is one thing we are missing and I am unsatisfied with it is service to the public.
To tell a station commander that I expect him to get his officers to a call after five minutes is easy but I need to give him the tools and resources to do that... But I also need the proper resources. I can choose the right policemen and train them but I need to give them and the citizens the right work atmosphere so when you come to a police station it won't look like a police station from 1948 where you stand in line and won't have anywhere to sit. It needs to have a nice atmosphere for civilians and so the policeman can be comfortable doing his job.
How long is this process?
It will take years. Firstly, it is a process that demands a cultural change. It is a process that began already before my tenure but not enough. We have not yet begun the revolution. This takes years but we need to do this. People's awareness has grown. Years ago people weren't aware [of quality of service] but now they are. When I call the bank or cellular companies or the health fund I am always pleasantly surprised by how good their service is.
You don't have someone who makes those calls to the bank and the health fund for you?
No [laughs]. There are still some things I do since I always remember that there will come a time when I will have to make those calls myself when I leave the force, and I don't want to be shocked. We should never forget where we come from.
Is the street violence a result of poor education?
I don't want to be the one to place any blame, but I think there are a variety of factors. There are many values that have just disintegrated. Take parental authority in the home. I remember when I was a kid we wouldn't have let ourselves do things that people do today. Parental authority has just disintegrated. Today, parents have much less influence on their kids and they cannot tell them where to go out and with whom to go out. Secondly, there is the teachers' authority. Also in schools, teachers cannot do what they once did, unfortunately. And there is also the law enforcement system's authority. I can tell you that today the level of deterrence a cop poses is much lower than what it once was. Our power to deter has been weakened.