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Courts / Law

Tampa Police Take Training to the Florida Holocaust Museum

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It all started when Charles Ramsey, a Washington D.C. police chief, was touring the Holocaust Museum and found himself struck by the involvement of law enforcement in the genocide. Many participated in the killings, while others risked their lives to stop it.

Ramsey helped develop Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust, a course for officers to emphasize their responsibility to uphold human rights in society which Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor attended. She then decided to bring it to her officers back home.

"One, I want them to get a historical perspective to see what can actually occur in a society when human life isn't respected," Castor said. "But more importantly, I just want to underscore the role of law enforcement in a community, and how important it is that everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and that all human life is cherished."
 
So far, 250 Tampa officers have gone through the one-day training at the Florida Holocaust Museum. Officers at the training hear about German police before and during Hitler's reign, get a tour of the St. Petersburg museum, and discuss how to apply the themes of the course to their everyday jobs.

The Florida Holocaust Museum hopes to expand the program to other law enforcement agencies in the area.