Wednesday, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) formally unveiled plans for the first-ever National Law Enforcement Museum.

With groundbreaking scheduled for next summer, the National Law Enforcement Museum will be the largest and most comprehensive museum of its kind, providing visitors with a truly experiential voyage through the reality of yesterday’s and today’s law enforcement. The Museum will be located in downtown Washington, DC, adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in historic Judiciary Square.

Also yesterday, the NLEOMF launched the public phase of its fundraising campaign, A Matter of Honor: the Campaign to Support the National Law Enforcement Museum, with a goal of raising $80 million to build this living legacy and tribute to law enforcement.

"Currently there are more than 800,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement officials serving our great nation," said Craig W. Floyd, Chairman and CEO of the NLEOMF. "Despite these large numbers, very few people truly understand or appreciate what these heroes undergo on a daily basis. This Museum will allow visitors to be an officer for the day, experiencing first-hand the situations officers often face, from split-second decisions involved when apprehending a suspect, to mastering basic forensic techniques."

From its inception, planning and support for this 90,000-square foot underground facility has come from top-tier sources, ranging from former presidents, Capitol Hill leadership, former attorneys general, and world-renowned museum architects and planners. The National Law Enforcement Museum was authorized by Congress in November 2000, with former Colorado Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell serving as lead sponsor of the enabling legislation. Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush are the honorary co-chairs of the A Matter of Honor Campaign. Joining them as honorary members are former Attorneys General Edwin Meese, Dick Thornburgh, John Ashcroft, Janet Reno, Benjamin Civiletti and William Barr.

"Without the work of our nation’s law enforcement, civil society and the rule of law would not prevail," said Meese. "Assisting lawmakers, scholars, and citizens alike, this Museum will serve also as the first-ever national repository of significant law enforcement documents, helping us as a nation apply the lessons of the past to the problems of the future."

The Museum’s core exhibitions have been designed by the internationally acclaimed design firm Christopher Chadbourne & Associates. For the National Law Enforcement Museum, the firm has designed a high-tech, interactive experience for visitors that will feature driving and use-of-force training simulators, a forensic science lab, and a 911 emergency call center. In the "Reel to Real" gallery, visitors will be able to see clips from cop shows on television and in the movies and have real-life officers help separate fact from fiction. During its first year alone, the National Law Enforcement Museum is expected to bring more than half a million visitors to Washington, DC, and generate $550,000 in new tax revenue for the city.

To date, the fundraising campaign has raised more than $29 million, with major initial contributions from Motorola, DuPont, Mag-Lite, Advanced Interactive Systems (AIS), and the Police Unity Tour, whose $5 million commitment is the largest to date. America’s law enforcement community continues to be a major supporter of the Museum, with more than 30 law enforcement organizations having donated $100,000 or more.

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