Alsheich Sworn in as Israel's 18th Police Commissioner

Both Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan stress that the new commissioner's task is to reform the police.

Incoming police commissioner Roni Alsheich greets his senior officers after being sworn into office.
Olivier Fitoussi

Roni Alsheich, the new commissioner of the Israel Police, took up his post on Thursday in a ceremony at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem.

The new commissioner thanked outgoing acting commissioner Bentzi Sau for "showing responsibility and taking upon himself the position of acting commissioner for an extended period."

Alsheich's assumption of office was delayed by two weeks due to a broken leg. He becomes Israel's 18th police commissioner.

 "Since deciding to accept the post of commissioner, I have been exposed to large doses of sentiment within the police, among those leaving the police and among the public as a whole," Alsheich said at the ceremony.

"Suddenly I felt in the most palpable way the strength of the link between a healthy society and the quality of the police that serve it. In the short time I've had to learn about the organization from within, I have understood how much the police force is interested in change, at least as much as those who chose me to lead it."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the incoming commissioner that "there is a need for change" in the police.

"A healthy body that is ill knows how to heal the disease and you will heal them," the prime minister said. "You have made a name for yourself as a determined and creative leader who isn't afraid to initiate."

"Police work must include all the citizens of Israel," Netanyahu added. "There are not two states here – one which enforces security and the other that doesn't. That can't continue."

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said: "We chose you for the position primarily due to the different spirit that you bring with you The big challenge facing you is to build the force and deploy it with the correct balance."

Referring to the broken leg that had prevented him from taking office sooner, Alsheich said, "Apparently I took the sentiment 'break a leg' too seriously. Or perhaps the creator ensured that I'd break the left leg in order to enter with the right. "