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Police leaders receive training in Israel

ALGONQUIN - The next wave of terrorism in America likely won't be a single surge from overseas, but a series of riptides that rise from within.

That is the belief of Lake in the Hills Director of Police Jim Wales and Algonquin Deputy Police Chief Ed Urban, who recently spent 10 days in Israel training on homeland security.

They saw security measures in action at Israeli schools, ports, malls and power plants, and even came within 3 miles of missile attacks.

Israel has experienced nearly 10,000 terrorist attacks in the past decade, they said, although the country has clamped down and now thwarts an estimated 91 percent of suicide bombs.

"I would caution that for us, it's not all going to be from abroad," Wales said.

"It'll be homegrown," Urban said. "Look what happened in Miami, Canada, London. They were all citizens of those nations. They were just so radicalized."

In a separate trip, Algonquin Police Chief Russ Laine also trained in Israel, returning Monday.

"The Israeli police said they want us to learn from their mistakes" in preventing and reacting to terrorism, Laine said.

Laine, who is third vice president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, was a guest of the Jerusalem Institute of National Security Affairs. Urban and Wales attended a Securities Solutions International program, with Urban footing his own bill.

Wales' trip was funded through a private foundation.

The three men talked Wednesday on how Israeli security tactics were becoming more relevant to American communities. The group said that some lessons learned in Israel would show up at local festivals and venues.

"There will be things that people won't see or be touched by, but operational tactics that could be helpful," Laine said.

Urban said it was enlightening that even a large mall that sees as many as 16,000 cars a day could search each of the cars for bombs and each of the customers' bags once inside.

While sporting events in the United States require security checks of visitors, Americans largely remain free to come and go. That lifestyle might be curtailed eventually, Urban said, and residents should open their minds to that looming change.

"It's not a question of if it's going to happen," he said, "but more of when and to what extent."

After the Sept. 11 attacks, Americans readily accepted longer lines and fortified security measures, Laine said.

"But over time, it has become a frustration for people because they have forgotten what happened to our country," Laine said. "There's a prevailing feeling that we're immune again."

With all the talk of tighter security, Wales cautioned against infringing on due process.

"It is a very, very slim tightrope that we have to walk on to ensure that balance between freedom and safety," he said. "We have an obligation to protect the citizens, but we also have an obligation to protect the rights of the citizens."

By ALLISON L. SMITH asmith@nwherald.com

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