Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust

A partnership program between ADL and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, held in Washington, DC.
Lessons of the Holocaust

Law Enforcement and Society (LEAS): Lessons of the Holocaust addresses the current and evolving needs of law enforcement and the most critical issues for 21st century policing. As a leading anti-hate and civil rights organization and one of law enforcement’s most trusted partners, ADL has a singular ability to help law enforcement meet these challenges.

In examination of law enforcement’s role in propagating atrocities in Nazi Germany during the 1930s and 1940s, participants look at what can happen when law enforcement personnel do not uphold democratic principles. 

The training underscores:

  • Core Values: LEAS reinforces law enforcement’s connections to the core values of their profession.
  • Community Engagement: LEAS strengthens awareness of the impact of law enforcement’s daily interactions with the public.
  • Public Trust: LEAS helps law enforcement better serve a diverse population.

In addition to the original program in Washington, DC, LEAS is also currently offered in Boston (MA), Dallas (TX), Houston (TX), Los Angeles (CA), Nassau County (NY), Seattle (WA), St. Louis (MO) and St. Petersburg (FL). LEAS may be provided in other cities upon request.

Every new FBI Special Agent must go through this training, which has also become standard protocol for several major metropolitan police forces, the Department of Homeland Security and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Since its establishment in 1999 in Washington, D.C., more than 140,000 law enforcement officers have participated in LEAS trainings. Federal agencies whose agents are trained in the program include the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service, while local departments include the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department, the Philadelphia Police Department and dozens more. LEAS has also been incorporated into the curriculum of FBI National Academy, the FBI National Executive Institute and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar.

Law Enforcement Officials Share Their Experiences:


The lessons that I learned at that point in my career I have carried with me to this day. I felt as though [LEAS] made me a better police officer. To see really what the role of policing is in our society, and the way that we really have to stand out and support people who are in trouble.


This training program forces our recruits to confront those highly personal feelings in a very compelling, but supportive way. And because our recruits take this introspective journey early on in their careers, I am convinced they start off being more aware and more tolerant than they might otherwise have been.

The calling of law enforcement was redefined today. I am prouder and I will more actively keep in mind the reasons I serve and the consequences if I don’t.

Holocaust Memorial Museum