One of the organizations that sponsors these trainings is the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The ADL is a non-profit that works to combat anti-Semitism and advocate for Israel. In this context, the ADL runs a National Counter-Terrorism Seminar that has sent hundreds of top ranking officials to Israel to learn about combatting terror since 2003. That same year the ADL established an Advanced Training School that brings delegations of Israeli law enforcement to speak to American law enforcement officials, involving over 1,000 U.S. participants since the program began.
The Police Department of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is among the departments that have sent delegates to Israel. Robert Haas served as Commisioner of Cambridge Police Department until 2016. Stephen Ahearn served as Lieutenant of and Deputy Superintendent of Cambridge Police Department. Haas and Ahearn both attended the same training in Israel in November 2008 with the ADL as a delegate of the National Counter-Terrorism Seminar. The training was challenged by local Cambridge residents and activists at a City Council meeting in 2011. A controversy arose in the City Council as it was revealed the training was paid for by private citizen and businessman Carl Barron rather than the ADL. A City Council member wrote to the City Manager asking him to investigate the role of private business in public policy: It is not the practice of the city to ask private organizations or individuals to pay for professional development. It’s not. And it’s inappropriate.”
When asked about his November 2008 training in Israel sponsored by the ADL at a Civic Unity Committee hearing on January 22, 2009, Police Commissioner Haas said, “…It was interesting, but in the end, not particularly useful. The Israel government does a number of things that we would never do in this country.” Robert Haas currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Police Foundation, Washington, D.C. He is a Senior Fellow to the CNA Corporation, a national security and defense industry private research firm whose clients include police departments, and a Senior Consulting Associate at Strategic Policy Partnership, a private consulting firm with a wide range of clients nationally and internationally including U.S. government agencies and police departments. He also serves on the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Committee on Homeland Security.
Lt. Stephen Ahearn simultaneously works in public and private security positions and is now Deputy Superintendent and Tactical Operations Commander for the Cambridge Police Department, and a Senior Trainer at Edward Davis, LLC, a private security consulting firm founded by a former Boston Police Commissioner that works with federal, state and local law enforcement and military officers.