Program

REPAIR Program

Through its Redefining Policing to Instill and Affirm Human Rights (REPAIR) program, the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG) is providing specialized training and education to U.S. law enforcement departments on addressing and preventing human rights violations within policing. AIPG launched REPAIR in 2020 as a virtual version of the effective and highly-regarded National Law Enforcement Seminar it offered in-person at and in partnership with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR) in Atlanta, GA from 2017 to 2019. The Seminar was born from AIPG and NCCHR’s shared concern that the increasingly hostile environment of exclusion and social fragmentation in the United States heightens the risk, and occurrence, of identity-based marginalization and violence, highlighted and exacerbated by acts of police violence, in some cases without accountability.

REPAIR is a U.S.-specific, human rights-centered program that uses best practices from the field of atrocity prevention to build capacity in law enforcement departments to detect relevant risk factors for civil and human rights abuses, identify appropriate response tools to promote and protect those rights, and recognize the best practices to foster resilience in targeted communities. AIPG and the NCCHR designed the program in collaboration with experts in the fields of history, atrocity prevention, social psychology, and law, as well as with veteran law enforcement professionals. The result is a program that is both pro-police and pro-reform. REPAIR also addresses concerns surrounding officer wellness and safety as well as policing in and for traumatized communities. 

To date, over 1400 officers from 33 police departments across the nation have participated in the REPAIR program, ranging in size from smaller university public safety departments to large urban departments.

Structure

The REPAIR program has three components:
Six-week course for leaders: This six-week, virtual, asynchronous course addresses topics such as Community Policing, Policing in Deeply Divided Societies, and Duty to Intervene. Intended to be completed by sergeants and above, departments may choose to include other ranks and unsworn personnel.  

Trauma-Informed Policing: This three-week, virtual, asynchronous course examines topics addressed in the six-week course at a higher level, and more deeply focuses on: understanding the nature of trauma and how to identify it, how trauma influences the communities in which law enforcement operate, and how trauma impacts the lives and work of police officers. 

Training of Trainers: Leaders who have completed the six-week course are eligible to be selected as trainers by their department to provide training for rank-and-file officers. These leaders attend a one-day, in-person “Training of Trainers” with REPAIR teaching staff, where they receive instruction on delivering training to non-leadership personnel, including issues and case studies tailored to a department’s local context. The result of this training is a customized eight-hour hour curriculum that departments can deliver in the manner most effective to meet their training needs. AIPG also assists in the structuring and implementation of this training curriculum. Following the completion of this component, AIPG continues to develop the relationship with the department through check-ins with the administration of the collaborative course, progress of courses that are administered by departmental staff, and regular reviews of the overall response to the material.

Course Goals and Topics

The goals of the REPAIR program are as follows:

  1. To instill in participants the values of promoting and protecting civil and human rights, and to examine the factors which put societies at risk for violating those rights. 
  2. To emphasize the ways in which the promotion and protection of civil and human rights by law enforcement plays a role in the prevention of grave human rights violations. 
  3. To sensitize law enforcement personnel to the systemic features of policing structures that may negatively affect communities of color, as well as the implicit bias that can impact decision-making at an individual level. 
  4. To apply those lessons to the challenges facing police today in serving diverse communities in a deeply divided society. 

The topics covered in the REPAIR program are as follows:

  1. Social Identity in Deeply Divided Societies
  2. The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing 
  3. Challenges in Community Policing 
  4. Impact of Policing Structures on Policing Behavior 
  5. Police Reform 
  6. Duty to Intervene

Participation

In 2020, the Atlanta Police Department contracted AIPG and the NCCHR to train its entire police force by the end of 2022, an initiative which the Mayor of Atlanta recognized in a Community Policing Roadmap. AIPG has trained police departments leaders or cohorts of leaders and officers in more than a dozen other U.S. cities, including: 

  • Baltimore Police Department, Maryland
  • Boise Police Department, Idaho
  • Charlottesville Police Department, Virginia
  • Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia
  • Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia
  • Houston Police Department, Texas
  • Los Angeles Police Department, California
  • Miami Police Department, Florida
  • Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania
  • Phoenix Police Department, Arizona
  • Portland Police Bureau, Oregon
  • Seattle Police Department, Washington
  • Tempe Police Department, Arizona


The effectiveness of the Redefining Policing to Instill and Affirm Human Rights Program relies on the backing of partners whose generosity provides us with the necessary resources to design and implement training and research programs dedicated to the prevention of future genocides and other mass atrocities.

Agendas, participants lists, instructor lists and photographs

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Staff

Executive Director
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Dr. Tibi Galis has been the Executive Director of the Auschwitz Institute since 2006. Before joining...

Program Associate, Online Education Program
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Duaa Randhawa received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College before acting as a Visiting Scholar in R...

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