Former Israeli police officers now guard mafia bosses – report

Frustrated with low wages and long work hours, dozens of Israeli cops are now working as bodyguards for notorious criminals.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Dozens of Israeli police officers frustrated with low wages and long work hours have quit the force and now work as bodyguards for some of the most notorious criminals in the Jewish State, according to a report from Mako.

A former police intelligence coordinator, identified only by the initial G, told the Hebrew-language outlet that his motivation for shifting gears was financial.

“I earn 25,000 [$7,200] shekels a month” as a bodyguard for two senior mafia members, he said. “In the police force, I made barely 9,000 shekels [$2600], a month,” noting that salary came after “eight years of starvation wages.”

The sheer number of hours on the job, which regularly included working on weekends and holidays, along with 16-hour-long shifts in high tension periods, “nearly broke my family. I decided I had enough.”

Now, G said, he enjoys perks like trips abroad with his employers and a generous salary that allows him to spend more time with his family.

But he noted that many of his former police colleagues view his new line of work with suspicion, fearing he may share information with his criminal clients about police operations – an allegation that G flatly denied.

“My job is to be a bodyguard,” he said, “and watch out for whoever pays for my services, even if it’s a criminal. I have no qualms about [leaving] a system that is unable to take care of its police officers.”

G is far from the only police officer who has found a second career as a bodyguard for mafia members. According to the Mako report, the number of former cops now employed by criminals is in the dozens.

“It’s a different kind of work, it’s fascinating, interesting, and the salary at least helps me keep my head above water and live with dignity,” said D, who retired from the police force last year.

“There is no betrayal of the values ​​I was raised on. If the state does not know how to appreciate the work of the police, that’s their problem.”

Another former detective explained that “the police are not able to give us what the criminals give us. What’s really sad is that we are now working with the people who we just arrested a short time ago.”

But, the man added, “I don’t care what people think of me. I have to bring food home for my kids.”

He said he expects that “more officers will abandon the system. The numbers speak for themselves.”