TRAINING FOCUSES ON ‘ROLE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT IN DEMOCRACY’
The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance has been certified by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to conduct Law Enforcement and Society Training, a law enforcement training developed and adopted by the USHMM and Anti-Defamation League in 1999.
The objective of LEAS is “to explore the lessons of Holocaust history and examine the role of law enforcement in democracy.”
Chief Charles H. Ramsey, then Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, inspired the development of the program. He visited the USHMM exhibit three times then approached the museum and asked it to develop a training program.
What he saw in the photographs and exhibits at the USHMM was a dangerous pattern of behavior among police officers. It led him to not only “examine the role of police in Nazi Germany by identifying the ‘slippery slope’ that led police to become complicit in the Nazi agenda,” but also to strive to inoculate law enforcement members should they be confronted with similar situations.
“What happens when the purpose of basic police work changes?”
“Ordinary police work has a basic function which includes conducting searches, making arrests, protecting, and maintaining law and public order, etc.,” said Charlotte Decoster, assistant director of education at the Dallas Holocaust Museum.
“What happens when the purpose of basic police work changes? For example, why is a search or raid conducted? Why is a person investigated? Law enforcement’s function did not change, but the purpose certainly did under the Nazi regime.”
The Anti-Defamation League’s Regional North Texas office is also a partner in the LEAS training linking the historical narrative to a current discourse on how law enforcement can integrate itself into the community to avoid sliding down that possible slippery slope.
The Dallas Holocaust Museum has already trained more than 50 of the leadership officers in the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department including Sheriff Lupe Valdez. It offers the training to law enforcement personnel free of charge.
For information about the training, email Charlotte Decoster at [email protected].
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