Nearly 20 years after Congress authorized the National Law Enforcement Museum, the first museum dedicated to all aspects of American law enforcement opened in Washington, D.C. PORAC, a major sponsor of the museum, was among the hundreds of people who attended the grand opening October 11. They included past and present law enforcement members from all over the country, community members, the public, dignitaries and celebrities.
Actor Clint Eastwood, known for his Dirty Harry movies and honorary chairman of the fundraising campaign for the museum, said in his opening remarks: “I just want to say how much I appreciate being involved with the [National Law Enforcement Museum] and police officers in general. I’ve been lucky enough to portray them, lucky enough to make a living portraying them and I’m glad to be here.”
Retired Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey urged law enforcement and visitors alike to “look beyond the artifacts that are in the museum. Look beyond some of the displays and interactive videos […] and think about the people that serve. Think about the period of time in which they served. I want you to think about why it is so important that, as a profession, we don’t act as if we can do it all by ourselves.”
The museum is next to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Judiciary Square, blocks from the National Mall. “Our goal is for every museum visitor to leave with a better understanding of the vital role that law enforcement plays in our society and they will hopefully realize that public safety is a shared responsibility,” said Craig Floyd, founding CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. “Law enforcement needs to know they must work constantly to earn the support and respect of the communities they serve.