Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Thursday, September 26, 2002

How Roman of the mayor of Rishon Letzion. As the soldiers in the Roman Legions times of service came up they were sent to newly built cities on the outskirts of Empire. Each of these outposts were miniature Romes and were farily self-sufficient. Immediate dangers could be faced by organized groups of veterans that had fought together for tweny years or more. In a similar tactic Realizing that his police force just couldn't handle the threat of terrorism on their own he turned to old special forces veterans. Meir Nitzan, the mayor, realized that his police force was not capable of handling the full threat of terrorism on their own. So he has recruited two 12 man squads of former special forces soldiers to help protect the city.

...he set up a well-equipped and well-manned municipal security service, Sayeret Harishonim, two months ago. "The police do not have enough manpower, so I learned though my own methods, which I cannot detail, what I need to do to prevent terror attacks," he said.

Sayeret Harishonim is comprised of veterans of elite Israel Defense Forces combat units. Prior to being hired, they undergo a battery of physical and psychological tests. Then they take a week-long course to train them in unarmed combat and police work as well as refresh their shooting skills. The force has two units of 12 men each. Some of them patrol the city in brand-new patrol vehicles, others are on foot or on bicycle. The Sayeret also combed flight schools for ultra-light pilots to patrol the city's skies and keep an eye out for potential terrorists - something unprecedented here. The pilots are in radio contact with the city's emergency hotline center.

The Sayeret has one obvious Achilles' heel: its members have no more authority than an ordinary municipal inspector. They are armed, but they are bound by the same stringent rules of engagement as private security guards. What they can do, however, is detain suspects until the police come. "It's true that the new force has no special powers, but it is comprised of people who are very well trained and know that there is a lot one can do even without pointing a rifle," said Yossi Shetrit, one of the Sayeret's team leaders.

"I'm not interested in battles, assassinations, ambushes and killing terrorists. My job is to deter," said Nitzan. "To complement the Sayeret's work, we coordinate fully with the police. There are joint patrols and meetings. We don't work in a vacuum."

< email | 9/26/2002 09:40:00 PM | link

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