The Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Prescott partnered with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum when local civic and law enforcement leaders traveled to Washington, D.C. on March 16, 2006. The delegation attended the Museum’s widely acclaimed community program: “Law Enforcement and Society: The Lessons of the Holocaust”. As part of a pilot program for the Museum, Greater Prescott was the first small community in the United States to have its law enforcement leaders experience this dynamic and interactive program that emphasizes ethical leadership in law enforcement.

The Foundation’s sponsorship made the Prescott-area delegates’ participation possible. Local officials traveling to the nation’s capital were: Mayor Rowle Simmons and Police Chief Randy Oaks, City of Prescott: Mayor Harvey Skoog and Police Chief Daniel Schatz, Town of Prescott Valley; Supervisor Carol Springer, Sheriff Steve Waugh, County Attorney Shelia Polk, and Superior Court Judge Robert Brutinel, all of Yavapai County. Local attorney Kenton Jones, Yavapai College President, Jim Horton, and business leaders Ron Fain and Tracey Horn rounded out the group of area delegates.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has developed a variety of community programs designed to enhance the understanding of the Holocaust and related issues, including those of contemporary significance. In 1999, the Museum, the Anti-Defamation League, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Judicial Center joined forces to develop a training program in ethical leadership for law enforcement personnel. The resulting program examines the history of the Holocaust and encourages law enforcement officials to reflect upon their personal and professional responsibilities in a pluralistic democracy.

Because Prescott was representative of many rapidly growing and progressive small cities, the Museum hoped to obtain valuable insight and input from the Prescott area’s participants as to the relevance of the program to smaller communities. What the Museum got was a new idea of how to expand their program to teach ethical leadership to prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement professionals throughout the country. After participating in the program, Sheila Polk, working with the Foundation and the Holocaust Museum developed programs for these criminal justice professionals. Today, Museum educators and historians have taught the judges’ program to more than 10,000 judges and court personnel teach throughout the nation. In addition, a new course, What You Do Matters: Lessons from the Holocaust, is being taught to police and sheriff agencies throughout Arizona by specially trained law enforcement facilitators.

To view photos from the trip, please click here.