Israeli officer who trained Georgians killed in Hamas attacks

ATLANTA — For years now, law enforcement leaders in Georgia have regularly traveled to learn from their counterparts at an Israeli town near the Gaza border.

Georgia’s Insurance Commissioner, John King, is one of many police officers from metro Atlanta who have traveled to a community right near the Gaza border. Those Israeli police officers also come to learn in Georgia.

One of those officers who has both trained and hosted Georgians as recently as this summer in his small town is one of the early casualties of this war.

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Israeli Lt. Col. JR Davidov hosted Atlanta Police Department Capt. Alneta Harris in June in the Bedouin village where he was police chief.

He was also in Atlanta last year as part of the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange, where police officers in Georgia and Israel learned from each other.

Davidov was killed over the weekend trying to rescue hostages.

“Our day-to-day operations are patrolling in their neighborhoods, keeping our communities safe and that’s the same in Israel,” King told Channel 2′s investigative reporter Justin Gray.

When King saw the ruins of the Sderot police station on TV, his mind immediately went to the police officers he met there as part of the Georiga International Law Enforcement Exchange when he was police chief in Doraville.

“I’ve been in that police station where all those officers were murdered. It just made me sick,” King explained.


Hamas militants stormed the police station, killing police officers.

King is one of many Georgia police officers who have been to that station to learn from their Israeli counterparts

“When I saw Surat, I was one of those communities that I spent a lot of time in. It just broke my heart,” King said.

Dr. Robert Friedmann is the founding director of the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange.

He says relationships like those with police officers in Sderot and Davidov are what it’s about.

“We don’t just go there to look at how Israel is dealing with terrorism. We look at how they deal with community policing, which is, by the way, exactly what he did in his own town,” Friedmann said.

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King told Gray these were police officers who were killed in Sderot police station. Not soldiers, so much of what they do every day is the same as officers here.

Israeli forces have retaken the police station from Hamas and destroyed it.


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