Police leaders share best practices in tactics, technology in Israel

Eighteen Georgia police chiefs, sheriffs, public safety commissioners, and other senior police and public safety officials have returned from Israel after two weeks of public safety and counterterrorism training with the country’s top policing executives.

Top officers from Atlanta, Roswell, Jonesboro and Cherokee County were part of a 20-member delegation of senior law enforcement officials from Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee on the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange’s 25th annual peer-to-peer training program in partnership with Israel.

The program covered the latest advances in counterterrorism, emergency management, and other public safety and homeland security issues.

Georgia Department of Driver Services Deputy Commissioner Ricky Rich (left) and Jonesboro Police Chief Franklin Allen meet with a top police official in Haifa.

“In GILEE’s 25 years, our partnership with the world’s top experts in counterterrorism has returned more than 700 public safety officials home with the knowledge and skills they need to keep our communities safer,” said Robbie Friedmann, GILEE’s founding director.

Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown visits with Israeli Border Police.

The need has never been greater: From January to May, more than 500 terrorist attacks killed more than 3,500 people worldwide, according to a crowdsourcing map published by Esri.

“It takes a multitude of ideas and partnerships to accomplish the essence of our purpose in law enforcement,” said Clayton County Deputy Police Chief Gina Hawkins, a former GILEE delegate. “The ability for us as leaders in law enforcement to exchange and collaborate on our ideas for public safety has proven to be successful. … Our issues are worldwide, and the possibilities of our solutions have been discussed, shared and improved through the peer-to-peer training and relationships built within this program.”

Atlanta corrections Maj. Byron LeCounte presents a plaque honoring the Israeli Prison Service.

GILEE (gilee.org) works to improve public safety by enhancing interagency cooperation and educational training, with Israel a key partner in the exchange of expertise. The program has provided more than 200 special briefings to more than 29,000 law enforcement officers, corporate security personnel and community leaders.

Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett meets with the Border Police.

GILEE has carried out more than 430 programs and produced 1,500 graduates.

The program is a research unit within Georgia State’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. GILEE operates in more than 25 countries and more than half the United States.

“Our GILEE delegates have returned with new ways of developing, collaborating on and using police and intelligence strategies to minimize the production of crime,” Friedmann said. “And after 25 years, many of these graduates now serve in key leadership roles in Georgia and beyond.”

Photos courtesy of GILEE