'Police ready for any scenario in light of Mideast unrest'

Insp.-Gen. David Cohen: Current period is "sensitive due to the developments" in the region; says police can "meet any mission."

police inspector general David Cohen 311 (photo credit: Israel Police.)
police inspector general David Cohen 311
(photo credit: Israel Police.)
The Israel Police is prepared to meet "any possible scenario in the country," and views the current period as "sensitive due to the developments in the Middle East," outgoing Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen said Wednesday.
"The Israel Police needs to be alert to any possible scenario that may develop in the country," Cohen said, referring to the anti-government uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, as he toured the police station in Ashdod.
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"My familiarity with you leads me to be convinced that you can meet any mission," Cohen told the officers in Ashdod.
"This station is growing stronger and it is following set processes. The Ashdod station will hold 40 officers," he added.
He said that the police will aim to recruit 1,600 officers to its ranks in 2011, 600 more than the number of recruits in 2010.
At the Homeland Security Conference in 2011, Cohen explained that criminal and terrorist networks were both seeking to transform themselves from local to global operations.
Cohen said that the 27,000- strong police force has over the past decade shifted from counterterrorism as a top priority to the goal of crime fighting, due to the dramatic drop in terrorist attacks, a process described by the police chief as “the blue revolution.”
At the same time, the police’s close cooperation with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the IDF meant that a swift response to terror threats could be delivered.
“This three-pillar approach is the secret to success,” Cohen said. “We have created special units, from the Border Police, to the Counterterrorism Unit, and a long list of others that deal with terrorism. We can provide a swift response to any incident... and this is the central feature of counterterrorism.