Police operating in Jerusalem
Police operating in JerusalemPolice spokesperson

While politicians debate the role of the police and the extent of their authority, the police force itself is suffering from a very different problem - lack of manpower.

According to a new report in Israel Hayom, around two thousand police officers left the force in 2022 (due to retirement, resignation, or termination), a far higher number than in 2021 when 1,200 officers left, or 2020 when 1,000 left. Furthermore, it appears that most of the increase is due to voluntary resignation rather than more officers reaching retirement age, as in most years prior to 2020, just 400 officers resigned per year on average, whereas last year that number jumped to 1,000.

Experiencing difficulty in recruiting enough workers is something common to many large businesses today and is now something that the police force is also dealing with on a large scale. In years gone by, it was usual to recruit anywhere between two and twelve thousand new officers per year. This year, the force has struggled to attract new faces; yesterday, Yishai Randelman became the two-thousandth police officer to join the force this year, meaning that the police have nowhere neared their target for attracting between 2,600 and 2,800 new officers in 2022.

Randelman, who is 28, described how he was "fulfilling his dream" by joining the Special Forces.

Police commissioner Meir Minker, who heads the force's Recruitment Bureau, told Israel Hayom, "Unlike other employers, we offer our recruits a sense of purpose and mission, as well as job stability and superior officers who care about those who serve under them. We expect the incoming government to deal with this issue and help us attract new officers - of course, in order to do that, we need to offer them a respectable salary."

Another approximately 100 officers are expected to enlist in the police force by the end of the year, but this will still leave the number of new recruits for 2022 at just 75 percent of the year's target.

"This isn't enough for what we need," Minker said. "The public expects to see police on the streets, ready to provide a swift response to any need. We don't have enough officers to do that. The problem isn't that we don't have the budget to draw new recruits - it's simply hard to persuade people to enlist. Which means that the force isn't expanding, even though the need for officers is growing. The country is growing, crime is on the rise, and the police can't keep up."