Exercise caution with positive press

It is nice to get positive press and accolades but with it comes the extra responsibilities of reading such press correctly. Once it is printed it is difficult to remedy as any PIO well knows.

A 500-word article titled: "US community policing expert lauds Israeli program as international model" appeared in The Jerusalem Post (3-27-2014). 

The photo in the article is actually against a backdrop of the "Turnaround" poster that is the flagship of Commissioner Danino. The award, for those of you who notice, is our committee's recognition of the Rishon LeZion Police Precinct, of the Israel Police, as a finalist in the 2012 award cycle (cities of 250,00+). I had the honor of representing our committee and personally handing it to the Commissioner and the police chief.

Let me draw your attention to a few inaccuracies in quoting me (and misspelling my last name is but one):

"...in Atlanta there are 60 local police departments." I said that the five county metro area has 60 police department.

“In Israel there is a centralized force, which is a more efficient model because communication among all departments is clear, resulting in higher standards.” I said there is efficiency in having a centralized model as it is easier to implement programs across the board. However, I also said that I do not imply that the U.S. law enforcement should become centralized. Rather, it could adopt elements of the 10 points irrespective of department size. Indeed, there are coordination problems across agencies but within each department the turnaround program is certainly applicable. In other words, it does not mean the Israel Police structure is better than the American one but rather that there are programmatic principles that could be utilized in US law enforcement (regardless of agency size, structure or having a multitude of agencies).

"...impressed by Danino’s Turning Point program that he regularly flies senior members of US police departments to Israel to study it." I do indeed fly command staff to Israel but I have done it years before the turnaround program came into being. There is indeed a lot to learn from exchange programs and "turnaround" is one such initiative.

"...every department I have brought to Israel has adopted a number of elements in Israel’s model with great success.” I was making specific references to various programs and in particular to the Video Integration Center of the Atlanta Police Department.

Of course, a positive article beats a negative one any time but in order to avoid any misunderstandings - at least as to what I said - I wanted to clarify the above points.


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