Money Incentives Fail to Lure Officers to East Jerusalem as Manpower Shortage Mounts

October 22, 2015

2 min read

Police stations in east Jerusalem and the Old City, which are facing the escalating wave of terror, are short about 400 police officers. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has been trying to encourage police officers to join the east Jerusalem ranks through a financial incentive worth hundreds of dollars a month, but it seems that the increasing violence alienates potential candidates.

The promised salary increment for police raised some questions. Walla reported that while the Ministry of Finance promised an incentive of $2,500 to police serving in Jerusalem, in reality, the “Capital Incentive” as it was dubbed, will be awarded to policemen serving in two regions only: the David zone (an area comprising the Old City), and Kedem zone (which includes the seam zone of Mt. Olives and French Hill). Another, single police station, Shaft, in the Zion zone was included as well. But when police opened the draft of the proposed incentive, ready to sign, they ran into a deal-breaker: they must serve a full five-years in these stations, or lose the bonus.

“For an extra $150-200 a month, we will not sign, nor will we serve in the old city and the dangerous fronts, instead of serving in the western part of the city for almost the same salary,” one of the officers in the Jerusalem District told Walla, adding “I prefer to stay with $150 less, and with my quiet life.”

“A policeman who joins the force, and they offer him jobs for almost the same salary, where would he rather go? East — where all day long they’re throwing Molotov cocktails and stones, or west, where he can ride in a patrol car through the prestigious neighborhoods of Jerusalem? That’s why there’s a serious manpower shortage,” a police official said.

At the Public Security Ministry they point the finger at the Ministry of Finance. They asked that the bonus be distributed to all of Jerusalem, including the police in the western city, but the Ministry of Finance refused to accept the demand for a larger budget. Therefore, priorities went to police officers in east Jerusalem. The Ministry of Public Security also said that they hope the incentive would nonetheless help enlist new personnel for east Jerusalem, as part of their recruitment campaign.

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