Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Wednesday criticized the decision to hold an ostentatious farewell event for outgoing Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino. Erdan revealed that the estimated cost of the event was 410,000 shekels (about $107,800), which is higher than what the police said it cost.
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Erdan said that he would demand that the next commissioner present him with new procedures on holding events in the police, and that all decisions regarding the event were made before he came into office.
On the event’s guest list were leading attorneys, business people, politicians and the police brass, but not journalists. Danino was criticized over the bash both publicly and within the police.
“I’m not sure that the event did not hurt the image of the police and its interests,” Erdan said in response to a question from the floor by MK Kesenia Svetlova (Zionist Union). “I therefore intend to ask the next commissioner, after he is appointed by the cabinet, to study procedures for holding police events and present me with recommendations. I can say the same thing about closing the event to journalists. This is not a simple matter – the public’s right to know – and it is not clear whether the event was defined as private or public, certainly when it is funded with public money.”
Erdan said the fact that the event was closed to journalists was one element that may have contributed to possible harm to the police’s image.
Erdan told the Knesset: “The outgoing commissioner should be honored with a respectable event after decades of service. There are places where the focus is far less and waste is 100 times greater. We’ll get to them too. That still does not absolve me of responsibility as minister to study where we can streamline and save.”