Ethics & Integrity
In 2006, after a trip to the United States Holocaust Museum, County Attorney Polk worked with partners to develop a course for law enforcement officers based on the Lessons from the Holocaust. The course is widely acclaimed and is now taught nationally by Sheila and her team. Using large scale posters and films, the 3.5-hour course examines policing within the legal and political framework of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1942. Through interactive discussions, students examine the “Slippery Slope,” the incremental change that transformed police from protectors of the people to enforcers of Nazi ideology. The course concludes with identifying Lessons from the history to guide students in decision-making today.
Among the praise for the course is this comment from a police officer:
I spent 25 years with the Phoenix Police Department and attended hundreds of classes, seminars, and required 8-10-hour modules. I have never been in such a high-class learning experience in a police setting. I can only heap praise on the whole experience.
In 2018, the Holocaust Museum recognized County Attorney Polk as an “Agent of Change” for her accomplishments at a national tribute dinner in Washington D.C. In 2018, County Attorney Polk was presented with the Gerda and Kurt Klein Guardian of Freedom Award by APAAC, and, in 2013, she was presented with the Guardian of Freedom Award by the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Prescott. In 2011, the Phoenix Holocaust Survivors’ Association awarded her the Shofar Zakhor Award at the Yom Hashoah Commemoration.