National Law Enforcement Museum

This week’s “Thankful Thursday” would like to honor the opening of the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington D.C.  The museum is adjacent to the National Police Memorial Wall which holds 21,541 names of fallen officers, troopers, and agents who have died in the line of duty. The $103 million project is 20 years in the making, from conceptualization in 1998 to deeding of the land by Congress in 2000, to years of fundraising, design approval and finally construction in 2016.  Notable contributions included, $23 million from The Police Unity Tour, an annual police bike-riding fundraiser.

At the museum’s opening ceremony, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the audience that police officers are more professional and sophisticated than ever. At this new museum, their stories will be told, stories of courage, honor, and sacrifice. These true stories will remind us never to take public safety for granted. The museum is described as a “walk in the shoes experience” for visitors. It allows visitors to experience the handling of simulated emergency calls at the 911 Emergency Ops exhibit, review evidence to help solve crimes and tests visitor’s decision-making skills in the training simulator.

Many law enforcement professions are collectively recognized and described for the visitor experience. A large array of interactive displays allow the visitor to experience what it is like to be a prison guard, to be on a boat as a marine officer, or to sit in an interrogation room with a detective. Guides are available to answer questions about police issues and to identify the grassroots efforts being made to strengthen relationships between police and the communities they serve.  

There is a rotating exhibits gallery that focuses on community trust-building initiatives by police in five cities (Cleveland, Dallas, Chicago, Somerville, Massachusetts  and Charleston, South Carolina.) Visitors are asked to write down their suggestions for improving relations with police.

Hot-button issues are not avoided which includes displays of the Ferguson, MO police shooting and the many missteps of J. Edgar Hoover’s leadership as the Director of the FBI. There is a 111-seat theater that will be showing a 20-minute orientation film on the history of law enforcement up to current issues in policing. The museum plans on having programs highlighting various hot topics such as the opioid crisis and any other relevant discussions that need addressing.

This museum offers timely insight into law enforcement history and welcomes in a new age of policing. Humankind Alliance applauds these efforts and recognizes the true potential for rebuilding trust within our communities through these engaging offerings. Thank you to all that participated in the development and conceptualization of this forward thinking project!

Find out more information from the following two links.