Police Officers Personal and Professional Background and its Relationship to Organizational Change: The Case of Community Policing in Israel

Orit Shalev, University of Pennsylvania

In 1995 the Israeli police began implementing community policing nationwide, with a strong component of POP. The original program was targeted mainly at street level police officers and over time shifted its emphasis to higher-ranking police officers at headquarters. A three-year national evaluation that was conducted by the Institute of Criminology of the Hebrew University found that among survivors, support of community policing was stronger than among street-level officers. This paper examines street-level police officers' personal and professional backgrounds and compares it to supervisors' backgrounds. Significant differences in personal and professional background between rank-and file and supervisors were found. The discussion suggests possible explanations for the relationship between those findings and the paramilitary organizational culture; organizational change and resistance to change; and their influence on the implementation of community policing in Israel.

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Updated 05/20/2006