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Strategy: LEARN Helps Battle Extremist and Hate Groups

A comprehensive and innovative initiative to assist law enforcement officers in the battle against extremists and hate groups was . . .

A comprehensive and innovative initiative to assist law enforcement officers in the battle against extremists and hate groups was launched this summer by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The ADL unveiled a special Web page:  Law Enforcement Agency Resource Network (LEARN).

The 88-year-old ADL is one of the nation's premier organizations in the forefront of the fight against racism and bigotry, as well as a leading expert on anti-bias training and hate crime prevention.

"In the battle against haters, extremists, and those who seek to erode our democratic values and threaten our security, we are committed to providing law enforcement agencies with resources and tools to augment their ongoing efforts," said ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman. "Our new Web page is intended for one-stop shopping for current and archival information, trends, analysis, and programs."

"Since the tragedies of September 11, 2001, we have received about 25,000 hits a day on the ADL and the LEARN Web sites," said Todd Gutnick of the media relations department at ADL. Bill Bratton, former New York City Police Commissioner, said "ADL's new law enforcement initiative, with its new Web page and training curricula, will prove to be a significant addition to enforcement efforts nationwide to deal more effectively with extremists, hate groups, and bias crimes."

Law Enforcement Training, Seminars, and Workshops

The LEARN Web site is just one component of the overall law enforcement initiative at ADL. Another major component is the specialized training and curricula available to help law enforcement combat hate crime, extremism, and bias. "Our friends in the law enforcement community have reached out to us for assistance time and again," said Glen A. Tobias, ADL National Chairman. "Utilizing the expertise of our education and anti-bias trainers, we are offering unique training opportunities for law enforcement personnel that will equip them with tools to better understand and deal with the issues they confront relating to extremism, hate crimes, and diversity issues." ADL has conducted trainings throughout the United States since the organization began. "Providing training and technical assistance to the law enforcement community is a central part of our mission here at ADL," said Gutnick.

An excellent example of such training is a recent partnership between Chief Charles H. Ramsey of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, the ADL, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The program provides law enforcement officers with a history of the Holocaust and offers them an opportunity to understand their personal and professional responsibilities in our country. This training is now a requirement for all police recruits. This acclaimed program has been expanded to other local and federal agencies, including the Montgomery, Anne Arundel, and Baltimore Police Departments in Maryland; the City of Baltimore Police Department in Maryland; the Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Chief Ramsey was recently awarded a 2001 Education/Training Award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police for helping to establish this program.

ADL's Web site also offers details on school and workplace curricula, a legislative action center giving the latest information on hate crime legislation, information on how to discuss the issue of hate crime with children, how to respond to extremist speech online, and much, much more.

For more information, visit www.adl.org, call 212-885-7747, or email [email protected].

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