In 2005, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk took a meeting with members of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Prescott that would forever change her life. At that meeting, Polk was invited to travel with a group of county law enforcement leaders to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington D.C. to participate in the course: Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust.
Polk was transformed by her experience at the Museum. Later Polk recalled how she felt:
“I have taken ethics courses for 26 years as a prosecutor and have never been touched or impacted the way the Lessons of the Holocaust impacted me. By the time I had finished, I went from believing the Holocaust had nothing to do with me and my role as Yavapai County Attorney to knowing the Holocaust has everything to do with my role as county attorney, with my role as a prosecutor, and with me as a person. By the time I flew out from Washington, D.C. the next day and made it back to Prescott – I was already thinking, I want all the prosecutors in Arizona to have the advantage of this course.”
Polk arrived back in Prescott and immediately set about pursuing her goal of creating a program for prosecutors and police officers in Arizona. Working with Jewish Community Foundation of Prescott and the USHMM, Polk spearheaded the program now taught throughout the country.