Acting Police Chief Bentzi Sau Set to Quit Force at Year End

Sau will leave when new Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich is up-to-speed in role

Acting police chief Sau and, to his right, Minister Erdan, at the Western Wall in July 2015.
Emil Salman

Israel’s acting police chief is set to retire from the force at the end of the year, Israel Police announced yesterday.

According to an official statement, Acting Police Commissioner Maj. Gen. Bentzi Sau informed the incoming police commissioner, Roni Alsheich, and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan of his decision about a month ago. He told them he would remain in order to assist the new police chief and other senior officers during the transition period in their new posts.

Alsheich thanked Sau for his service and work during the transition, and his willingness to continue as acting commissioner until the end of the year. Alsheich broke his leg earlier this month, a day before he was due to take up his new post.

Sau, who has been acting commissioner since August, had already informed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Erdan and Alsheich that he did not intend to remain on the force as Alsheich’s second-in-command. The three had proposed that Sau remain on the force with expanded duties. But given that Sau had spent the last few months as commissioner for all intents and purposes, this would have be en a step down, hence his decision to retire.

Another senior police official expected to announce his retirement soon is the head of the Traffic Division, Maj. Gen. Yaron Be’eri.

Be’eri is set to face a disciplinary hearing following an investigation into fundraising that he and his wife did, which is against the law for a police officer.

Senior police officials past and present approached Be’eri recently and asked him to retire before the disciplinary hearing. According to people close to Be’eri, he intends to announce his retirement after Alsheich takes up his post.

In a surprise move, the commander of the Judea and Samaria District, Maj. Gen. Shlomi Michael, announced his retirement last week.