Law Enforcement Program Utilizes Lessons Learned from Holocaust

Article excerpt

It stemmed from racial discrimination; it gained momentum with persecution on political and behavioral grounds. The Holocaust, always to be known as an era of despair, is now inspiring a dialogue between law enforcement officers and communities in an era where prejudicial treatment is still at large.

The Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust program challenges all levels of law enforcement officers as well as federal judges to examine their relationship with the public, and explores issues related to the personal and professional responsibility of officers to administer their authority in an ethical manner. The training program, conceived in 1999 by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Anti-Defamation League, draws on lessons learned from the Holocaust.

"By witnessing firsthand the horrors of the Holocaust, police officers can better understand how their personal decisions can have life-or-death implications," said Abraham H. Foxman, Anti-Defamation League national director and a Holocaust survivor. "Community police officers are the frontline protectors of America's Constitution and guardians against a repeat of the horrors of the Holocaust."

Designed in collaboration with the FBI, the Metropolitan Police Department, the Federal Judicial Center and Maryland's Prince George's County police, the training consists of training modules that include the following core components:

* A guided tour of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's permanent exhibition, which teaches the history of the Holocaust from the Nazi rise to power through the end of World War II and its aftermath;

* A discussion on the Nazis' abuse of power and the role of police within the Nazi state; and

* An examination of the important and difficult role of police in America today. …