PHILADELPHIA — Nearly 100 police recruits about to graduate from Philadelphia's Police Academy will travel to Washington, D.C., Tuesday to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
"We already have a block of instruction that deals with ethics, and this will expand upon it," said Capt. William Maye, commanding officer at the academy.
The Anti-Defamation League teams with the museum to present the training program, called "Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust."
Law-enforcement officers from around the country, including federal personnel, take part in the program.
It was started by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey when he was police chief of Washington, D.C.
This is the first time that Philadelphia police recruits will participate.
The program "encourages law-enforcement officials to reflect on their personal and professional responsibilities to our society," a police statement said.
"This is a very timely and appropriate thing to do," said Barry Morrison, regional director of the ADL.
"The Holocaust is a historical event, but has life and meaning today," Morrison said. "There are reports periodically of police going overboard and abridging people's rights."
Said Maye: "Any student of history knows what went on with the Holocaust. There were police who had a role, some in a positive way and some in a negative way."
Morrison said that most people, including law enforcers, went along with the Nazis or "stood aside."
"A very small minority of people risked their lives" to save others, Morrison said.
Among them, he said, was a police chief in Italy who saved many Jews and who was sent to the Dachau concentration camp by the Nazis.