March 18, 2019

SoCal Law Enforcement Receives ADL’s Sherwood Prize for Combating Hate and Bigotry

The Inter-Agency House of Worship Task Force, flanked by prize benefactors Howard and Stephanie Sherwood on the left. On the bottom right, ADL Regional Director Amanda Susskind; standing from the right, Fr. Robert J. Gaestel of Church of the Angels in Pasadena and Elaine and Larry Sherwood. Photo courtesy of ADL

Southern California law enforcement personnel were honored with the Helene and Joseph Sherwood Prize for Combating Hate.

The awards and a luncheon were held March 12 at the Skirball Cultural Center for those who went above and beyond their basic job descriptions to keep their communities safe.

This year, the individual honoree was LAPD’s LGBTQ Liaison Officer Julianne Sohn. Sohn worked on a daily basis to bring change, awareness and acceptance by empowering the voices of the LGBTQ community, both from the community at large and from within police culture.

Sohn thanked the ADL and the Sherwood family for their work in ensuring inclusivity and safety in the community and the “LGBTQ community in L.A., the ones who show up, do the work, and show us how to lead the way.”

Other honorees included the Inter-Agency House of Worship Task Force, a partnership of LAPD, LAFD, the Pasadena Fire Department, and the LA District Attorney’s Office, who received an award for bringing to justice the arsonist who intentionally desecrated houses of worship in both Los Angeles and Pasadena.  

L.A. Fire Department Chief Mike Castillo said, “Arson destroys much more than the building itself. It can devastate a neighborhood and a community that depends on the church for support and as a place to worship their faith.”

The San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) received the prize for launching the Police And Community Together (PACT), comprised of community members and advocates who partnered with SLOPD to affect positive social change through dialogue.

“To the ADL, thank you for your courageous voice. May you always have the courage to keep that voice unsilenced,” LAPD Assistant Chief Beatrice Girmala said. 

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s Office also received an award for Operation “Rounding Third,” a 20-month-long criminal investigation into the activities of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang and their subordinate white racist gangs in the Orange County Jail system and on the streets of Orange County.