For Immediate Release ~ June 30, 2000
Washington D.C. ~ FBI National Press Office
FBI Director Louis J. Freeh, Sara J. Bloomfield, Director, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, today announced a new training segment for all FBI new agent trainees. The segment, which began last month, focuses on law enforcement's historical role in the 1930's and 40's in abetting the Holocaust. It is designed to ensure that FBI investigators, early in their training, understand fully the consequences when law enforcement fails to protect citizens, their civil rights, their dignities, and their moral, ethical and humane values.
Director Freeh says there are
enormous benefits for the new agents who participate in the segment.
Freeh said, "We do this early on in their training for a
very simple purpose: to remind them of the horror and evil which
can result from not just a government, but particularly law enforcement,
abandoning its mission to protect people and becoming the engine
The agent trainees are given a guided tour of the Museum and instructed on the role played by the police during Hitler's reign. Police were engaged in rounding up Jews, political opponents and other targeted groups. Agent trainees then meet in a classroom to discuss the implications of the historical lesson. Finally, they are required to evaluate the segment in an essay that addresses the question, "Of what relevance is this history to you as a human being and as a law enforcement official?"
Sara Bloomfield stated "Much of the Holocaust was perpetrated or supported by trained professionals who were doing their job'. The Museum's program with the FBI challenges law enforcement agents to examine the moral dimensions of their professions."
Student comments from the first session included: "a constant reminder of the evils that can occur when one abuses power"; "it has taught me that making sure our Constitution is strictly followed should be a number one priority throughout my career"; and "it will help me remember my greatest duty: to preserve human life and protect the civil rights of every man, woman, and child."
Director Freeh added, "We must be morally responsible for what we do. We have to understand and protect not just the people we serve, but the moral and ethical values and human dignities that are so important to us all."
"We applaud the FBI's commitment to participate in this program, which emphasizes law enforcement's critical role as defenders of the Constitution and guardians of individual rights. This partnership program between the Anti Defamation League and the Museum has tremendous potential to impact the next generation of law enforcement leadership." stated Abraham Foxman.
This training segment enhances
the current new Agent training curriculum's focus on law enforcement
ethics and core law enforcement values. It also complements the
FBI's training curriculum at its International Law Enforcement
Academy in Budapest, Hungary, which has taught a course in Human
Dignity to more than 1,000 police officers from former communist
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