With the awareness and threat of global terrorism on the forefront, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson has just returned from a best practices counter-terrorism program in Israel. As part of the course which ran from Nov. 15-24, he met with his Israeli counterparts on how to make Stanislaus County and America safer. With the rise of ISIS and other fanatic organizations – as was most recently seen in Paris – this type of program is more important than ever, according to sheriff’s department officials.
Christianson said the knowledge gained from this program will help law enforcement agencies keep citizens safer and ensure that American communities are better prepared to deal with the realities of terrorism.
“It was a unique opportunity to partner with JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs),” Sheriff Christianson said. “The Israeli people are experts in this area.”
Because both law enforcement and the people of Israel have paid a high price learning the lessons of terrorism, they now openly share with United States police leaders through the Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP).
“The trip to Israel provided me the opportunity to meet with other law enforcement executives from across the United States and with Israeli law enforcement, military and government leaders to learn about Israeli national security,” said Christianson. “The threat of terrorism worldwide is real and we need to reaffirm our commitment to gathering intelligence, information sharing and working together to protect our nation.”
Middle East terrorist organizations, their motivation, characteristics, and ideology remain a mystery to large segments of the American population, including law enforcement. Understanding these components undoubtedly aids police agencies in detecting activity characteristic of terrorists and terrorist organizations. The sharing of threat and intelligence information about terrorists, their organizations and their activities is the key to preventing attacks.
Israeli law enforcement has been dealing with terrorism and learning from it for many years and the sheriff noted that the various law enforcement and intelligence agencies in the country have an excellent collaborative record of working together
“They share information,” Christianson said. “That’s their strategy and key to quelling actual and potential threats.”
With Israel a world leader in counterterrorism, LEEP takes delegations of senior law enforcement executives to Israel to study methods and observe techniques used in preventing and reacting to acts of terrorism. In addition to Sheriff Christianson, there were 15 different law enforcement agencies represented, including the chiefs of the New York and Miami police, the head of the LA County Sheriff’s Office, the DEA assistant administrator, and the department commander of the US Customs and Border Protection.
Over the course of 10 days, the group observed and was briefed on police activities in the capital, with an emphasis on the Old City, met with Border Police and a Shin Bet official, toured the new police academy, and traveled north to study anti-smuggling approaches.