Avi Noam, head of the Beit Aryeh local council and director of security for the Local Authorities Organization, said Sunday that the country needed to hire hundreds more police officers, and that they needed to be on the street, not behind a desk or the wheel of a car. “I cannot remember the last time I saw two cops standing on a street corner doing their job,” he said, describing how short-staffed police are.
Noam was speaking in the wake of Saturday's murder in broad daylight of Taher Lalah. Lalah, 29, of Yafo, was known to have ties to criminal activity, and the murder is believed to have been a criminal assassination. The incident was seen as another bold drive-by shooting by Israeli underworld figures, who seem to operate with impunity.
Noam said that the lack of protection by police was not only dangerous, but unfair. While rich towns could hire private security guards to protect residents, poor towns could not, and the residents of those places were vulnerable to robbery, injury, or worse, because organized crime could operate there unfettered.
Israel doesn't have any “beat” cops, long considered by many departments to be the best way to prevent crime, because of the presence of officers on the street. “In Israel, police do not go out on patrol without an air conditioner and patrol car,” Naim said.