As the United States prepared to observe the anniversary of the terror attacks on September 11, 2001 — attacks that cost the lives of thousands of Americans and hundreds of heroic first responders — a delegation of American police officers traveled to the Holy Land. The Jerusalem Post’s Anna Ahronheim reports on how the American officers will meet their Israeli counterparts, tour the Jewish state, and remember those lost 18 years ago:
Tags: 9/11 Anna Ahronheim Jerusalem Post Police US-Israel Relations
Known as the Police Unity Tour, the delegation will be in Israel for nine days to hold discussions with their Israeli counterparts and strengthen the domestic security cooperation between the two allied nations, as well as a two-day motorbike ride across Israel to honor officers killed in the line of duty.
“The cooperation between Israel and America is wonderful and the bond is very strong,” Michael Safras, chief of New Jersey’s Essex County Sheriff’s Department, told The Jerusalem Post.
While Safras has been to Israel over 40 times, 35 of the 49 officers taking part in the delegation are visiting Israel for the first time.
“It’s going to be an eye opener,” he said.
The officers will also be visiting communities and law enforcement officers in communities next to the Gaza border as well as in northern Israel, where they will be briefed by IDF officers on the tense security situation and the threat of infiltrations by terrorists from across the border.
“We will be discussing the issue of the kites and balloons so we will know what and how the Israeli officers deal with it,” Safras said.
The officers will also be meeting with local law enforcement officers, including those at Jerusalem’s Old City Observation Center, for briefings on how Israel Police manages responses to both criminal incidents as well as terrorist and rocket attacks.
“Israel is way ahead of us in certain regards,” Safras said, explaining that the cyber units.
On Wednesday, the delegation will take part in the annual 9/11 memorial ceremony in Jerusalem along with officials from the US Embassy.
“Memory is very short,” Safras explained. “I have friends who had young children at the time of the attacks and they don’t really understand…”