Police chief trains in Israel

Georgia Tech Chief of Police Teresa Crocker returned June 3 from a two week long training exchange program in Israel. Crocker participated in the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) program with 17 other delegates from various law enforcement agencies.

The GILEE program was founded in 1992 by Robert Friedmann, a chair of the Georgia State University Department of Criminal Justice, to provide senior law enforcement officers with professional training opportunities in policing techniques used abroad.

This marks the sixteenth delegation of Georgia law enforcement officers to visit Israel through the GILEE exchange program. The Israel program emphasizes teaching counterterrorism, emergency management and drug interdiction strategies from Israeli police, but is all encompassing, including everything from traffic control instruction to crisis training. Crocker was finally chosen to participate in this summer’s delegation after a long application process that started three years ago.

“It was exciting to be chosen to go… after all, it is a long application process of writing papers explaining why you want to go and what you want to do with the training once you get back,” Crocker said.

While there, Crocker and the delegates traveled around Israel learning different policing techniques from the Israeli police force. Each day a new type of police action was made the focus of learning. The officers were taught through hands on trips across Israel.

“We did it all. We went to every border and saw everything the police did that they could show us … We got to see how traffic is policed in the busy city of Tel Aviv, and saw how the bombings are dealt with on a daily basis in the tiny town of Sedrot,” said Crocker.

The police delegation also visited common tourist destinations, such as the Holocaust museum and Haifa.

“The trip, for me, was on many different levels. Of course professionally, but you also came away personally affected by things like the Holocaust museum, so also spiritually,” Crocker said.

The techniques that Crocker learned will be readily applicable to policing here at Tech, she hopes.

“We made a lot of contacts that we know are just a call away if we ever need them for anything… and of course while we hope it never happens to us like in Israel, it is good to have the training to deal with terrorism if it ever comes our way,” Crocker said.

Still, Crocker believes that the experience of the GILEE program was overall one of the best experiences in her career thus far.

“I learned so much. The trip was just a great experience. It would be for any law enforcement officer who would have the chance to go, but for me it was especially. I just had a great time,” Crocker said.