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Helene and Joseph Sherwood Prize for Combating Hate

Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect Americans from the threat of extremism, terrorism and hate—and are often the first line of defense. The Anti-Defamation League's Sherwood Prize recognizes those law enforcement professionals who are so committed to their work that they make a significant difference in their communities and serve as role models for their departments.  We honor those officers who go above and beyond the call of duty to protect the community from hatred and bigotry.           

Award Specifics
The Sherwood Prize is awarded to honorees at an annual luncheon along with their supervisors, superior officers and their guests.  This is an opportunity to showcase the individual(s)/unit/department's accomplishments in local media and to share successful programs and activities with other agencies. Previous winners are listed below.

How to Nominate
Law Enforcement personnel, units or departments serving areas in Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo and Ventura Counties are eligible. The nomination process is now entirely online and forms for nominations can be completed here. Please email with any
questions or call (310) 446-8000.

The award focuses on law enforcement activities during the 2012 and 2013 calendar years that demonstrate relentless dedication to containing and minimizing the prevalence and severity of hate motivated behavior.  A Sherwood Prize award nominee should have demonstrated a commitment of personal time to do one or more of the  following:

  • Demonstrated an outstanding commitment to combating extremism, bigotry and hatred by performing acts outside the normal scope of duties.
  • Made an impact on victims of hate crimes or bias-motivated incidents.
  • Provided opportunities for education to reduce hate crimes and bias motivated activity.
  • Used innovative approaches to enforce or prosecute hate crime laws.
  • Made a significant difference in their community and served as a role model for his or her agency.


  • Avoid nominations of people whose actions are only filling requirements within their job descriptions.
  • Outstanding work alone is not enough; it has to be related to combating hate.
  • This award is not a lifetime achievement award; it is for extraordinary achievement during a specific time.
  • The Sherwood Prize is also intended for the individual or team actually making the impact on the community, not the supervisors or chiefs.

Selection Process

A distinguished group of police chiefs and sheriffs, under the leadership of Irvine Police Chief David Maggard along with the Sherwood Family and the ADL staff, select those individuals whose stellar service and commitment should be recognized.
The current Sherwood Prize Selection Committee members are:

  • Special Agent in Charge Steven J. Bogdalek, ATF, Los Angeles
  • Chief Dan Bower, California Highway Patrol
  • Sheriff Geoff Dean, Ventura County Sheriff's Department 
  • Sheriff William D. Gore, San Diego County Sheriff's Department
  • Chief Rob Handy, San Bernardino Police Department
  • Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Orange County Sheriff's Department
  • Chief David L. Maggard, Jr., Irvine Police Department, Chair
  • Chief Jim McDonnell, Long Beach Police Department
  • Assistant Chief Michel Moore, Los Angeles Police Department
  • Chief Camerino Sanchez, Santa Barbara Police Department
  • Sheriff Stan Sniff, Riverside County Sheriff's Department
  • Chief Greg Williamson, Bakersfield Police Department

Sherwood Prize Past Recipients
This award has been presented to law enforcement professionals since 1996.  These are the previous three years of recipients:

Deputy Ashraf “Ash” Abdelmuti
Orange County Sheriff’s Department – Gang Enforcement Team
Gained an unparalleled subject matter expertise on the issue of white racist gangs to become the driving force in dozens of criminal cases against some of Southern California’s most notorious white racist gangs.

Detective Dan Swanson
Simi Valley Police Department
Went above and beyond the workload of a typical investigator to become an expert witness in criminal cases involving white supremacists and impart his knowledge to other law enforcement professionals.

Northridge Maple Syrup Swastika Investigation and Prosecution
Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, Los Angeles Police Department
Used innovative techniques to prosecute the parent of a juvenile who vandalized a Northridge home of a Jewish family with human feces, swastikas and the word “Jew” drawn in maple syrup.

Church of Latter Day Saints Vandalism Investigation
Riverside County Sheriff’s Department – Jurupa Valley Station
Investigated aggressively following hate-based vandalism of the Church of Latter Day Saints in Jurupa Valley.

Cross Burning Investigation and Prosecution
Arroyo Grande Police Department, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office
Led a comprehensive investigation and prosecution after a stolen, 11-foot tall wooden cross was burned on a property adjacent to the residence of a mixed race family.

Senior Lead Police Officer Manuel Arreygue
Los Angeles Police Department
Works with various religious communities in North Hollywood to “bridge the gaps” between diverse groups, encouraging open and free exchange of ideas and helping them find common ground to build relationships.

The Honorable David S. Wesley
Assistant Presiding Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court
Created SHADES, a landmark teen court program that provides an opportunity for selected juvenile offenders in trouble for bullying and committing hate incidents to be questioned, judged and sentenced by a jury of their peers.

Azusa 13 Gang Investigation and Prosecution
United States Attorney’s Office, Internal Revenue Service, Azusa Police Department
Collaboration of local and federal law enforcement agencies worked to dismantle the Azusa 13 gang and ensure that its racial violence directed at African American residents would end.

Canoga Park Alabama Gang Investigation and Prosecution
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – Operation Safe Jails, Los Angeles County Probation Department, Los Angeles Regional Gang Information Network
A multi-agency task force was successful in disrupting the activities of the Canoga Park Alabama gang, a violent, racist street gang terrorizing African American residents of Canoga Park.

Orange County White Supremacist Gangs Investigation and Prosecution
United States Attorney’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Orange County District Attorney’s Office
Operation Stormfront was a broad collaborative effort that led to the largest number of arrests of high level white supremacist gang members in Orange County history and had a significant impact on white power gangs both in the prison and on the streets.

Investigator William "Bill" Beeman
Investigator James "Jim" Karr
Orange County Sherriff's Department

Instrumental in collecting, cataloging and providing information about white racist gangs (WRGs) to law enforcement resulting in numerous critical arrests.

Sergeant Kevin Kilgore
UCLA Police Department 

Works with the UCLA Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community to combat hate via personal victim assistance and extensive community involvement.

Commander Josef Levy
Long Beach Police Department
Trained thousands of officers and community leaders on issues involving hate crimes and racial profiling in programs such as the Long Beach Police Department Human Relations Training and Human Dignity Program.


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