The workshop discussed the roles police and law enforcement have in countering terror. The speakers discussed their various perspectives pulling from their own experiences. Though Israel’s law enforcement is homogeneous, speakers from other parts of the world provided an understanding of their work in their own countries. There was a recurring theme of the importance of cooperation among law enforcement entities around the world to fight terror.
Chair: Mr. Denis MonetteChairman of STARCOM (Stop Terrorism Aggressive Response Coordinated Operational Management) and Former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Nassau, New York, United States of America
Chief Superintendent (Ret.) Asher Ben ArtziFormer Director, INTERPOL Division, Israel National Police & Associate, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), IDC Herzliya, Israel
Mr. Ross McNeilAssistant Commissioner, Victoria Police Force, Australia
Col. Vladimir TkechenkoPolice Attaché of Russia in Israel
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Dubi (Dovi) YungFormer Commander, Special Forces Division, Israel National Police & Associate, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT), IDC Herzliya, Israel
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Dubi YungBrig. Gen. (Ret.) Dubi Yung discussed law enforcement in the age of terrorism, focusing on Israel. In his opinion, there is not a big difference between fighting terror and fighting crime. In Israel, there is one national police force, and since 1974, police have two spheres of activity, classic police and protection against terrorist activities. There is a constant tension between these activities. Law enforcement is a learning organization. Police are trained to make preparations and to adjust to changing circumstances. Police train using lessons previously learned and operational preparedness. Today, major cities around the world face a similar threat to Israel’s, and law enforcement around the world has the challenge of preparing to fight terror. Israelis have an advantage because of public cooperation. Israelis have served in the army and are familiar with security measures. Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Yung explained various scenarios of how the Israel police force trains, operates, and coordinates with other agencies. He also provided examples of past attacks. He stressed that intelligence is everything because terrorist attacks are never improvised.
Chief Superintendent (Ret.) Asher Ben ArtziChief Superintendent (Ret.) Asher Ben Artzi discussed the issue of law enforcement and counterterrorism from the police’s perspective. In Israel, there is one police force and one commissioner in charge of all police activities, including border security. He stressed the importance of cooperation. Israel’s first route for cooperation is through INTERPOL. INTERPOL allows Israeli police to cooperate with police agencies around the world. Attachés are another means of cooperation. Since Israel put up the border fence, the number of suicide attacks has decreased to almost none. The decision to build the fence was not a political decision, but a security one, and it succeeded.
Col. Vladmir TkechenkoCol. Vladmir Tkechenko is the police attaché of Russia in Israel with thirty years of police experience. Like Ben Artzi, Tkechenko stressed the importance of cooperation. INTERPOL is the highest level of cooperation, and when the police have the highest level of cooperation, attacks can be stopped.
Mr. Ross McNeilMr. Ross McNeil is Assistant Commissioner of Police in Victoria, Australia. McNeil described this force as having 14,000 uniformed officers, and 1,000 that travel on transport systems. They are all armed with an S&W firearm with one clip of 15 rounds. The police are the first responders when something explodes. All explosions are treated the same until someone claims motivation for the attack. The police then determine if it was a terrorist attack, but the procedures remain the same. The officers are not combatants nor are they intelligence. There is a huge benefit of cooperation among police around the world. McNeil then discussed problems in the community that drive the radicalization of Muslims.
Mr. Denis MonetteMr. Denis Monette closed the workshop by recapping the importance of cooperation. In regards to 9/11, several agencies had pieces of the puzzle; however, they failed to share the proper information with one another. The dots must always be connected. Israel is constantly prepared, and it is important that the U.S. and other countries be constantly prepared and alert as well. Private security firms are now also a critical part of the security infrastructure and should be brought in as part of the team.