Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $299,000)
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center’s Law Enforcement Action in Democracy (LEAD) Training provides law enforcement with tools for balancing civil rights with societal protection, understanding abuses of authority, and responding to hate crimes and bias. LEAD teaches lessons through the lens of Holocaust history and contemporary law enforcement case studies to address root causes of violent crime and mitigates its occurrence by increasing empathy and promoting cross-cultural dialogue. Training sessions equip law enforcement to effectively respond to hate crimes and improve their relations with culturally diverse communities. LEAD has been developed in collaboration with active and retired law enforcement officers, and has received top ratings from external evaluator Planning, Implementing and Evaluating (PIE) Organization. LEAD is certified by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board and assists police departments in meeting and supporting the Shared Principles of Policing issued by the NAACP. LEAD is a crucial training program, especially now, as incidents of police brutality have led to exacerbated racial tensions and growing distrust, and hate crimes continue to rise.
Since 2011, Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center has been a proud training partner with the Chicago Police Department, Cook County Department of Corrections and Sherriff’s Office, and a myriad of Illinois suburban law enforcement agencies, reaching over 7,000 recruits and officers to-date, through our LEAD Training. This expansion of LEAD will bring the impactful training to law enforcement personnel across the State of Illinois.
This expansion includes more in-person training at the Museum in Skokie; increased trainings on-site by both Museum staff and through a train-the-trainer model at law enforcement departments across the State of Illinois; and through virtual trainings. This expansion could reach up to 47,000 sworn officers in Illinois, impacting over 2,700 cities, towns, and villages.
The outcome of the expansion will be to improve the knowledge of law enforcement personnel on hate crimes; the role of implicit bias plays in interactions with residents; and will increase empathy of those who receive training.