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Columbus Police Visit D.C. Museums For Human Rights Training

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Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Over 50 Columbus Police officers visited Washington, D.C. this week for lessons and workshops on human rights conflicts.

The three-day trip took Columbus officers to the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Holocaust Museum.

“One of the main goals of attending both of these museums is to show about what the police did during the Nazi regime and then again what the police did during the U.S. civil rights movement.”

Chief Kim Jacobs said the goal is to show officers the role of police during those critical moments, including the enforcement of discriminatory laws.

“The police haven't always been on the right side of those issues,” Jacobs says.

She says the museums help show how the history of police has contributed to negative stereotypes today.

“Our police officers think of themselves as do-gooders, if you will, the people who are out there to help people, save lives, protect them and all that. They don’t necessarily understand why people fear them,” Jacobs says. “It’s important that they do understand why people might fear them, even if it's not based in a real incident that happened in Columbus."

Jacobs hopes the trainings can help officers better interact with communities who face discrimination.

This is the fifth trip of its kind, all of which are privately funded through the Columbus Police Foundation.