Posted: December 8, 2003
The Pacific Southwest Regional Office of the Anti-Defamation League and the Los Angeles Police Department's Training Unit recently partnered to share ideas regarding the best way to train new police recruits to effectively respond to hate crimes. The goals of the gathering, on December 4, 2003, were to share ideas for making hate crime training more interactive, work together to improve current exercises used in training, and to clarify legal definitions.
"Sometimes the nuances in California's hate crime laws can be confusing. Our goal was to find ways to simplify these concepts and successfully teach them to new recruits," said Sue Stengel, ADL's Western States Counsel.
Hate Crimes have a unique impact on victims. Trainers are challenged to create empathy for these victims. ADL and LAPD personnel exchanged ideas for exercises that accomplish this successfully; instilling in recruits an understanding that hate crimes are message crimes.
Through acts of hate violence, perpetrators are telling victims that they are inferior, unsafe and unwelcome in communities. Because this message is sent to the victim, to members of the protected class to which the victim belongs, and ultimately to all of society, it is imperative for new police recruits to understand that their response necessitates the recognition that there are always multiple victims of a hate crime. LAPD and ADL participants devised training tools to instill these concepts as well as the understanding that hate crimes require a unique, more comprehensive, community-based response.
Ms. Stengel concluded, "It is through this kind of partnership that all trainers enhance their ability to impart difficult-to-learn yet crucial skills to new police recruits. When law enforcement properly responds to hate crimes they are working to prevent future crimes from occurring. This is one of ADL's ultimate goals in helping the law enforcement community design effective hate crimes training."
Please contact ADL for more information about our Hate Crime and Extremism Training for Law Enforcement Professionals.