Senior NYPD, LAPD, Houston Police and Top Counterterror Experts to Visit Israel

October 15th, 2012


October 17, 2012
Contact: Keren Naveh, Project Interchange

Senior NYPD, LAPD, Houston Police, Counterterror Experts in Israel Sharing Best Practices

(Jerusalem, Israel) - A delegation of ten senior counter-terrorism experts from the police departments of New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Austin, Oakland and Montgomery County (MD) are visiting Israel (Oct 13-20, 2012) through Project Interchange, an educational institute of AJC. The week-long educational program will showcase Israeli technological and operational advances in counter-terrorism tactics. Additionally, it will offer the group of assistant chiefs, commanders, captains, and senior analysts an opportunity to exchange information on best practices with their Israeli counterparts.

On the agenda are discussions on countering the financing of terror operations and organizations, cutting-edge counter-terrorism technologies, airport security and profiling, with visits to the MAGAV Unit, Israel’s Border Police and Megido Prison. Several sessions throughout the week will also address broader strategic issues, including Israel’s reaction to homegrown terrorism, security cooperation by the Israeli and Palestinian Authority defense forces, Israeli and Palestinian politics and society and the peace process.

This program marks Project Interchange’s tenth seminar for counter-terrorism experts, with several featuring U.S. police counterterror specialists and European NGO and government counterror experts.

Sam Witkin, Executive Director of Project Interchange, said, “Each year, Project Interchange brings leading American and European counter-terrorism specialists to Israel to experience first-hand the country’s hard-won expertise in combating terrorism. We are tremendously pleased to host this delegation of senior counterterrorism officials from America’s major police forces. Countering violent extremist groups requires ongoing collaboration and information sharing and we do this by offering participants exposure to Israeli technological advances and operational tactics, and helping to establish collaborative ties between responsible law enforcement agencies worldwide.”

Commander Richard Webb of the Los Angeles Police Department, said, “The Israelis are considered world leaders and innovators in counter terrorism and security. My experiences in meeting with the various experts and leaders confirm they not only are experts, they are pragmatic and collaborative.  Equally as important they do their duties while vigilantly protecting human rights. I will take many lessons I learned back to Los Angeles. I observed several new techniques for security operations including multilevel security measures at an international airport.”

Assistant Chief Russell E. Hamill of the Montgomery County Police Department, said, “This has been some of the most meaningful training I’ve ever attended. It has demonstrated not only the importance of hardening the country against terror attacks but also of the community in refusing to be terrorized. The Israeli people live that; they refuse to be terrorized. In the battle against terrorism, that’s how you win and the Israelis are winning. They are not victims but survivors.”

Captain Brian K. Coyne of the New York Police Department, said, “The Palestinian Police Chief [responsible for coordination between Palestinian Civil Police and the Israel Police] was really frank in telling us how people live and the issues they deal with. It’s amazing how people in Israel live with all these issues going on.”

Seminar participants include:

Captain Darren Allison, Oakland Police Department

Assistant Chief George T. Buenik, Houston Police Department

Captain Brian K. Coyne, New York Police Department

Assistant Chief Russell E. Hamill, Chief of Investigations, Montgomery County Police Department

Ms. Alida Osterlin Jacob, Vice President of Research and Analysis, Universal Strategy Group, Inc.

Assistant Chief Brian Manley, Austin Police Department

Sergeant William Ponce Jr., New York Police Department

Captain Patrick Smith, Los Angeles Police Department

Commander Richard Webb, Los Angeles Police Department


Project Interchange, an educational institute of AJC (American Jewish Committee), conducts seminars in Israel for current and emerging United States and international leaders. Founded in 1982, Project Interchange has brought over 7,000 influential figures to Israel from more than 72 countries, offering them broad exposure to complex regional issues. Project Interchange is headquartered in Washington DC, with an office in Jerusalem, Israel.