People who want to "visit" the first-ever national museum dedicated to law enforcement in the United States don't have to wait for the museum's physical doors to open in 2011. The National Law Enforcement Museum is now online through the Museum's new website, www.LawEnforcementMuseum.org.
Web visitors can take a virtual tour of the architecturally inspiring, 95,000-square foot, mostly underground museum, which is being built in Washington, DC's historic Judiciary Square. The website also highlights the Museum's five main galleries and the primary exhibitions within those galleries.
In the "History of Law Enforcement" gallery, for example, visitors can step back in time and discover the roots of American law enforcement and follow its progression into the 21st century. An online artifact gallery showcases some of the 6,000 historical and contemporary objects that are already part of the Museum's collection.
Other Museum galleries include "Being an Officer," where visitors walk in an officer's shoes and get an inside look at what it means to serve and protect, and "Reel to Real," which takes an entertaining look at how law enforcement is portrayed in pop culture and how that compares to the lives of real, working officers.
"When it opens in 2011, the National Law Enforcement Museum will finally tell the full story of law enforcement in our country, through high-tech interactive exhibitions, interesting artifacts and compelling educational programs for people of all ages," said Craig W. Floyd, Chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which is leading the effort to build the Museum.
"Our new website offers a preview of what this unique Museum is all about. We hope it inspires people, both inside and outside the law enforcement profession, to get involved in this long-overdue tribute to those who have dedicated their lives to protecting our communities and safeguarding our democracy," Mr. Floyd added.
Over the next three years, leading up to the Museum's opening, the website will be enhanced to include more interactive features, artifact images, oral histories and a searchable database of Museum holdings.
Authorized by Congress in the year 2000, the National Law Enforcement Museum is expected to attract 600,000 visitors a year — 100,000 of them school-aged children. Groundbreaking for the Museum, which is located just blocks from the U.S. Capitol and adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, is scheduled for fall 2008.
The privately funded Museum has launched an $80 million capital campaign, with approximately $33 million raised to date. For more information, visit www.LawEnforcementMuseum.org.