Inducted June 2022
Nominated by Badi Hasisi, David Weisburd, Simon Perry, and Tal Jonathan-Zamir, Hebrew University
Roni Alsheich became the 18th commissioner of the Israeli National Police (INP) in 2015 and served until 2018. His career spans 38 years in the Israeli security services developing management and strategic planning skills for large organizations. After eight years of army service, he was recruited to the Israeli Security Agency in 1988 where he served for 27 years, from field officer to deputy director of the Shin Bet. As INP police commissioner, Alsheich promoted several reforms: EMUN - in the field of evidence based-policing, and intelligence continuum; technological continuum; and investigative continuum - in the field of high policing. After his service, he was awarded the Israeli President’s Society of Criminology Award for his achievements in evidence-based policing. Today, following his retirement from the Israeli National Police, Alsheich works in the private sector in the Hi-Tech field alongside volunteer activities and considers himself an ambassador for police officers in the field. Commissioner Alsheich holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Haifa, summa cum laude, and an MA in Political Science from Tel Aviv University, summa cum laude. In addition, he is a graduate of a senior management program at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Evidence-Based Research and Practice:
Commissioner Alsheich is recognized for introducing broad evidence-based reforms, especially in crime prevention and problem-oriented policing. Hasisi and colleagues, in their nomination of Alsheich, note that “to overcome the obstacles in instituting evidence-based policing, Alsheich took upon himself the role that Sherman (1998) refers to as the ‘evidence cop’ who is tasked with facilitating translation of research into practice. [Commissioner Alsheich] understood that the INP was more likely to succeed in implementing and sustaining evidence-based policing in the INP only if he, as the commissioner, engaged in a methodical and effective strategy of creating the foundations and circumstances required for complete integration of EBP into the police force.”
Commissioner Alsheich’s most outstanding and significant efforts is the “EMUN” strategy he implemented in the INP. In Hebrew, the word EMUN means “trust,” and it is also an acronym for “Strategies for Prevention and Managerial Focus.” The EMUN strategy represents a significant advance in evidence-based policing in the INP. The key to EMUN is in local-level problem-oriented policing, where local police work in collaboration with local communities to identify problems and develop solutions and strategies for dealing with them based on state-of-the-art research and evidence. The INP had been a heavily centralized structure, which meant that departmental priorities and missions were traditionally set by the Central Command in Jerusalem and followed by all of the stations in the country.
Alsheich was keenly aware of the need for decentralization to promote a more evidence-based approach. Akin to Compstat’s goal of geographic organization of command, the EMUN reform provided greater autonomy and responsibility to local-level police stations, who were recognized as being the best suited to working with the community and developing local-level priorities. Under this framework, all police stations and units were asked to review their actions against their ability to prevent crime. They were also tasked with providing an annual assessment in which they were expected to identify four central problems specific to their locale. This represented a radical departure for Israeli commanders who were used to following “national priorities” but emphasized the importance of local control in defining problems. The accountability system developed under the EMUN framework followed this process of decentralization. Rather than being based on top-down meetings with central commanders to assess progress and implementation of reforms, assessment was based on a transparent computer application that tracked and measured implementation by the central command and stations, units, and individual personnel. Evidence-based policing was implemented locally through this framework.
Within the framework of EMUN, Alsheich also introduced and facilitated the implementation and development of a state-of-the-art, user-friendly predictive policing system. By drawing on lessons learned from Compstat and similar platforms, implementing the new system both encouraged and facilitated a new and strategic problem-solving approach. EMUN sought to refocus Israeli police stations on problems and problem solving, and it was aided by information technology. Importantly, built into the reform was a commitment to evidence-based policing. The system relies on more than just police-generated data to define both crime problems and police performance. Instead, it includes externally collected data on citizens’ trust and legitimacy in the police, which is collected on an ongoing basis at the local level, as well as additional externally collected data on other public concerns and fear of crime. These factors are used to perform ongoing analysis, risk assessment, and resource management and optimization.
Alsheich’s EMUN strategy was evaluated using a quasi-experimental study by Weisburd and colleagues (2020). The study found that the program resulted in significant reductions in crime, illustrating already early signs of the effectiveness of the reforms.
More broadly, Alsheich consistently stressed the importance and value attributed to scientific evidence at all levels, having both senior commanders and more junior officers contribute to the activities of evidence-based policing. In addition to the new annual strategic plan that each station needed to compile, each station was individually tasked with integrating various evidence-based practices and tactics into their overall strategies and day-to-day operations. Alsheich also led policies to improve police-public relations, especially with minority communities, such as the ultra-Orthodox and Arab communities. Under Alsheich, new police stations were set up in predominantly or wholly Arab communities, including East Jerusalem, which had notoriously suffered from a lack of control and enforcement. His reforms also included an emphasis on the “what” and the “how” - how police officers behave when they come into contact with civilians. In so doing, he emphasized the role of procedural justice, fair treatment, and the normative and practical significance of public trust in the police. Even with his departure from his role as commissioner, it is evident that many of his reforms have fundamentally changed the character and approach of the Israeli police.
Statement from Inductee:
Contributions to Grants, Publications, and Projects:
- Weisburd, D., Hasisi, B., Litmanovitz, Y., Carmel, T., & Tshuva, S. (2020). Institutionalizing problem-oriented policing: An evaluation of the EMUN reform in Israel. Criminology & Public Policy, 19(3), 941-964.
- Alsheich, R. (2020). Police Commissioner at the Forefront: In Defense of values. Israel: Tchelet Books.
- Perry, S., & Wolfowicz, M. (In Press). The Role of the “Super Evidence Cop” in Evidence-Based Policing: The Israeli Case. In Weisburd, D., Jonathan-Zamir, T, Perry, G. & Hasisi B. (Eds.), The Future of Evidence-Based Policing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
- Litmanovitz, Y., Weisburd, D. Hasisi, B. (In Press). Implementing Evidence-based Policing: Findings from a Process Evaluation of the EMUN Reform in the Israel Police. In Weisburd, D., Jonathan-Zamir, T, Perry, G. & Hasisi B. (Eds.), The Future of Evidence-Based Policing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
- IP Commissioner: "Integration leads to a better police force." Ministry of Public Security, Government of Israel.
- "Ministry of Public Security and Israel Police expand Municipal Policing Services." Ministry of Public Security, Government of Israel.
- "The end of the road: Saying goodby to Roni Alsheich - all the time."