One of my students told me about a major problem with police officers in Israel, that they are resigning in droves. It used to be an honorable position in Israeli society, but today they face more workloads and responsibilities while their income remains very low, even below the average wage.
Police officers in Israel become increasingly accused of power abuses and even face several instances of legal prosecution. For instance, when an Israeli border police officer who neutralizes a terrorist has to testify as a suspect, then he naturally feels betrayed by his country, and that he would be better off getting another job that would pay him more.
It is wrong for police to be so underpaid and unprotected. They should receive protection from their country, and get paid more than any other profession because they regularly have to deal with society’s ills. When I was in Switzerland around 15 years ago, I had a conversation with a police officer who told me that their average starting salary was a relatively hefty 8,000 euros a month, because it is indeed a complicated job to acquire and to sustain. Also, Israel is no Switzerland in terms of the additional risks that police officers face here.
Therefore, police need respect from the government, acknowledging the necessity and importance of their work to society, and they should always feel that society stands up for them. We need to raise their salary, revise the rules of their use of force, and give them a little more freedom. If we recruit and strengthen a good number of police officers, then Israel would be different. They should feel that people have their back, and the people should feel how the police protect them.