“It’s the big, worst-case scenario emergencies that we have to be prepared for even though that’s the least likely thing to happen,” she said.
Harrell was selected as one of 16 people from Georgia to be part of the training. The application process started in the fall and included an essay about what the applicant expected to learn and how it could help their agency. Harrell found out she was selected in February and left on the trip, which was paid for by the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange, in May for two weeks.
“I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to get this training if I thought it would help me be better prepared and recognize some of the dangers and some of the stuff that happens,” she said.
Harrell said the training in Israel was helpful because the police there, for a long time, have been dealing with the kinds of terrorists that the United States has only recently seen.
“[Israeli police] have more experience in tactics and profiling based on behaviors. Their security is a little more developed because they’ve been dealing with it for so long,” she said.
The daily life of Israelis is similar to ours, Harrell said, and this helped her see how the training could potentially help the city of Milton should an attack occur.
“It showed me that these things do happen and seeing it in a place that looks like our place I think made it sink in,” she said. “Everything about the culture seemed very similar to ours.”
The trip also provided a networking opportunity for Harrell to meet with other Georgia law enforcement agents from areas such as Atlanta, DeKalb County and Clayton County.