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:
COURTESY, PROFESSIONALISM AND RESPECT UNIT (C.P.R.)
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: Am I speaking with Ze'ev *******? (I know that 99% of you already know who I am, but...)
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...