The terror attacks carried out in San Bernardino on Wednesday and the attacks that happened in Paris last month have opened up new dialogues in America on terrorism and how to best protect the country. Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson has a newly obtained understanding of counterterrorism efforts that he likely hopes never to put into practice.
Christianson recently returned from Israel, where he participated in a program with his Israeli counterparts that was focused on making Stanislaus County and America safer. The Law Enforcement Exchange Program, sponsored by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, sends a select group of law enforcement officials from the United States to Israel for an intensive training on counterterrorism efforts.
“The trip to Israel provided me the opportunity to meet with other law enforcement executives from across the United States and with Israeli law enforcement, military and government leaders to learn about Israeli national security." said Christianson. "The threat of terrorism worldwide is real and we need to reaffirm our commitment to gathering intelligence, information sharing and working together to protect our nation."
Established in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, LEEP is based on the premise that the hard lessons learned by Israeli law enforcement and military would benefit their counterparts in the United States. Some of the program is focused on intelligence gathering, understanding the motivations and ideology of a terrorist, and other methods that could help in preventing a terrorist attack. Other aspects of the training delve into effective strategies and techniques for dealing with a terrorist attack, and the ensuing investigation.
The 15 American law enforcement selected for the exchange program spent 10 days in Israel to study the countries various security efforts, including meeting with Jerusalem and border police.
In addition to the training in Israel, JINSA also offers conferences and brings over Israeli officials to meet with U.S. law enforcement.