One of the organizations that organize and sponsor these trainings is the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA). JINSA is a think tank that advocates for US-Israeli security cooperation, increased domestic military spending, and military aid to Israel, and has board members with close ties to US defense contractors. JINSA launched its Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP) shortly after 9/11, and since 2002 has run annual trips to Israel for US federal, state, and local law enforcement. Over 11,000 additional American law enforcement officials have attended LEEP conferences nationwide, which bring in Israeli security officials as experts.
The Sheriff’s Department of Pierce County, Washington, is among the departments that have sent delegates to Israel. Paul A. Pastor serves as Sheriff of Pierce County. Sheriff Paul A. Pastor attended a training in Israel with JINSA as a delegate of the LEEP program.
According to his official biography, Pastor is credited with “helping design the national model procedures for policing mass civil disturbance after the World Trade Organization riot in Seattle and also consulted to the International Olympic Security Committee in Salt Lake City in 2001. He serves on state and national committees for emergency mobilization, ethics and intelligence and in 2004 helped develop the National Sheriff’s Association Weapons of Mass Destruction training program. In addition, he helped develop the Washington State law on police use of lethal force and the Northwest Law Enforcement Executive Command College.
He wrote a letter in a local paper in which he defends the militarization of the police, and compares armored police tanks to armored bank transport trucks:
“I believe we are overly concerned with appearances in the area of ‘militarization of policing’ […] America has experienced a ‘militarization’ of the public […] Like it or dont like it, thats the way it is. […] in the Puget Sound region, hundreds of armored vehicles are used to securely transport money between businesses and banks every day. This is totally unremarkable. But the occasional use of armored vehicles to protect the lives of law enforcement officers elicits concern and criticism. So, should we conclude that cash matters but police lives dont?”