Monday, January 23, 2006

Courtesy, Professionalism and Respect... from the police... in Israel???

When I was still living in NY, I remember seeing on the side of all NYPD vehicles in big, red, bolded letters: CPR, alongside which were the words:





Established in October 1996 to test, measure and assess the level of compliance with courtesy, professionalism and respect displayed by members of the service to both citizens and members within the Department.

Until today, I assumed that CPR and police were things that seemed to just work better in NY, like bagels and cream cheese.

That all changed as a result of a car ride and a phone call.

This past Friday, I was on my way to Zichron Ya'akov where I was going to be spending Shabbat with my family. On the way, I passed a field where I noticed a large fire burning. I fulfilled my civic responsibility by calling the police department (I didn't know the # for the fire department off hand), and that was seemingly that.

Earlier this afternoon, I received a phone call (with a blocked number) from a very serious sounding gentleman and the conversation went something like this (in Hebrew. mostly):

Police: Hello.

Ze'ev: Hello.

Police: Am I speaking with Ze'ev *******? (I know that 99% of you already know who I am, but...)

Ze'ev: Yes.

Police: This is so and so (I don't remember his name) from the Zichron Ya’akov Police Department.

Ze'ev: Ok. (Wondering what I possibly could have done wrong).

Police: I am calling regarding a complaint that you filed on Friday regarding a fire that was burning in a field.

Ze'ev: Well... I wasn't complaining, I was just reporting the fire, that's all.

Police: That's just the word we use (in Hebrew: T'lunah) - it doesn't mean that you were actually complaining.

Ze'ev: Oh, ok.

Police: I'm calling to follow up and make sure that your "complaint" was handled in a professional and courteous manner. I wanted to know, how did the person whom you reported the fire to treated you?

Ze'ev: Huh? (I couldn't believe that he was serious).

Police: Was she patient? Did she rush you?...

Ze'ev: She was fine. It was a very quick conversation. I saw the fire. Called. Told her the details and that was it.

Police: So, she treated you well?

Ze'ev: Yes, she was fine.

Police: Good, because we take these things very seriously. It's important that people know that the police are here to help them, and that we take their concerns seriously. We want people to feel comfortable coming to us and knowing that we will help them, whether it's a concern that directly relates to them, or if its for the general public welfare, as was the case with your "complaint".

Ze'ev: Ok, great. Thanks.

Police: Thank you.

Don't get me wrong. I still have plenty of issues with Israel's police force, but credit must be given where credit is due.

Now, if only we could work on the bagel and cream cheese situation...


Wow. That's a lot better than the NYPD, who basically said "Well, I don't we can do anything about that" (we saw a couple guys scouting out cars, and it looked like they stole a laptop from one). And the NYPD are not known for their C, P, and R (though another time they were good about dealing with our Arab neighbors who threatened to stab my wife).

By Blogger Ezzie, at Mon Jan 23, 09:42:00 PM GMT+2  

Zeev - I can't believe you fell for the OLDEST trick in the book.

That was the SHABAK calling you up, since they read your right wing radical blog, and wanted to see if they could incriminate you -- that YOU started the fire.

If they really treated things seriously, the level of corruption in the government and Knesset would be far lower.

Get with the program.

By Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata, at Mon Jan 23, 11:06:00 PM GMT+2  

israeli police: service with a smile!

By Blogger bec, at Mon Jan 23, 11:49:00 PM GMT+2  

Ha, I concur with Jameel... it had to be the Shabak.

It's funny, years ago I had some "questionable" friends in the Zionist circle, and I got an anonymous call on my cell phone from a guy with a heavy Israeli accent .. he told me that if I ever intended to make Aliyah that I would be better off avoiding this "circle", or that it would not happen.

A) How did he know they were friends of mine?

B) How did they get my cell number?

C) What group could possibly have my Aliyah application rejected?

Anyway, that was off the subject, but I thought it kind of fit with what Jameel was jesting at.

By Blogger Tovya @ Zion Report, at Tue Jan 24, 12:14:00 AM GMT+2  

Having been on the other side, I've seen both kinds of responses by police to these situations. First time I ever heard of them calling up and asking what you thought about how they handled it. Maybe they are becoming more professional....nah (just because they used a polite "line" before they tore families from their homes doesn't make them any more professional.

Sorry to burst your bubble.


By Blogger Jerusalemcop, at Tue Jan 24, 08:08:00 AM GMT+2  

I see that the majority of my readers (or at least commenters) are a bunch of cynics...

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Tue Jan 24, 09:24:00 AM GMT+2  

Good on you for bringing that to the publics attention, the police here have earned themselves a lousy reputation, give credit where credit is due.

My last run in with the police wasn't a plesant one, and all I was doing was walking home.

By Blogger ifyouwillit, at Tue Jan 24, 12:43:00 PM GMT+2  

good job Zeev. Hakras Ha Tov is always a good thing.

By Anonymous leffingstn, at Tue Jan 24, 03:15:00 PM GMT+2  

well, my story was true, but it was more of a poke at your story. I hear a lot of bad stories from Israeli friends of mine, so it is good to hear a pleasant one every now and then.

By Blogger Tovya @ Zion Report, at Tue Jan 24, 03:45:00 PM GMT+2  

Cream Cheese is oppression of Cows! Down with Cream Cheese bagels.

More importantly - shouldn't the police be doing something more important than checking up whether their phone operators are curteous?

By Anonymous H, at Tue Jan 24, 03:51:00 PM GMT+2  

Haim - please tell me that you aren't one of those psycho PETA people...

Also, it's important for the public to feel like they have a good relationship with the police - and that the police care about htem - so I think its worth the time investment.

By Blogger Ze'ev, at Tue Jan 24, 08:21:00 PM GMT+2  


By Blogger Batya, at Wed Jan 25, 05:58:00 AM GMT+2  

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