When the National Law Enforcement Museum opens in 2013, visitors will be able to experience first-hand, the challenges and dangers, and the bravery and heroism of America's 890,000 law enforcement professionals, thanks to a $100,000 pledge from the Arizona Conference of Police and Sheriffs (AZCOPS).
Representing more than 8,000 public safety officers and 95 local affiliates across Arizona, the Arizona Conference of Police and Sheriffs has pledged $100,000 to the National Law Enforcement Museum so they can help tell the stories "Behind the Badge" and preserve the history and tradition of America's Law Enforcement Professionals.
Arizona is a land with proud law enforcement history harkening back to the days of Deputy Sheriff Wyatt Earp and the John Dillinger gang. And the story of their capture in Tucson, Arizona and extradition to Chicago, where Dillinger later escaped and was killed in a shoot-out with police, is the type of story that will be told in the Museum.
The AZCOPS made a public announcement of the pledge at the National Coalition of Public Safety Officers/Communication Workers of America Leadership conference in San Diego, CA. AZCOPS President Larry Lopez joined the Memorial Fund's Director of Law Enforcement Relations, John Shanks, as they made the announcement. President Lopez urged other law enforcement associations to support the Museum saying, "This is our legacy, this is about telling our stories, the stories of the officers who came before us. This is the right thing to do!"
Craig Floyd, Chairman & CEO of the Memorial Fund praised AZCOPS President Lopez for his leadership and commitment to the Museum. "We are extremely proud to have AZCOPS as a Museum donor and look forward to welcoming the Arizona law enforcement community to the Museum opening," said Mr. Floyd. AZCOPS is the 45th law enforcement association to donate $100,000 or more the Museum Campaign.
Authorized by Congress in the year 2000, the National Law Enforcement Museum is an architecturally inspiring, 55,000 square foot, mostly underground museum that will be located adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in downtown DC. The Museum will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibits, collections, research and education. Groundbreaking for the Museum will take place on October 14, 2010, with a projected opening in late 2013.
The privately funded Museum has launched an $80 million capital campaign, with more than $40 million raised to date. Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton serve as co-chairs of the Museum's National Honorary Campaign Committee, which also includes seven former Attorneys General of the United States, as well as other former government officials and celebrities.