PM Binyamin Netanyahu says it may be time to appoint a female chief of police in Israel.
“It could be the right thing to do,” he said in a speech today (Tuesday, Jan. 27). Possibly the time has come to appoint down the road a female chief of police.
“I want to advance this idea,” Netanyahu continued. “It would be a refreshing change, a female chief of the Israel Police.”
The prime minister’s remark followed an announcement Monday by the Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Department (PID) that a senior officer was questioned about allegations he harassed a lower-level policewoman. Eight other women may have been harassed as well by the same officer, who is suspected of also having obstructed justice and having destroyed evidence.
National Chief of Police/Inspector-General Yochanan Danino met earlier today with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch at the ministry in Jerusalem. On the agenda for the two men was the issue of how much damage had been caused to the image of Israel’s national police force by the continuing scandals and how to prevent repetitions in the future.
“This incident is a severe one,” Danino told reporters. “They deal a blow to public faith in the police and call for an organizational root canal.”
This was the seventh such scandal in just over a year. Danino told media that he would like to say to Israeli citizens, “You have a police force that you can trust despite these recent events and we have our way of dealing with them.”
The first female chief of police in the United States to be appointed in a major city was Penny Harrington, who became the chief in Portland, Oregon in 1985. The first female police officer to actually be appointed to a force in the U.S. was Lola Baldwin, who also was hired in Portland, Oregon on April 1, 1908. Today, one percent of all police chiefs in the United States are female.