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National Law Enforcement Museum - Washington DC


National Law Enforcement Museum - Washington DC

J. Edgar Hoover's desk telephone, ca. 1957. 2010.11.23.

Collection of the National Law Enforcement Museum. © Hideaki Sakuri
The National Law Enforcement Museum will be a 55,000 square foot, mostly underground museum that will be located adjacent to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC. The Museum will tell the story of American law enforcement through high-tech, interactive exhibits, collections, research and education. Visitors will be "an officer for the day" and get to experience first-hand the situations they often face, from split-second decisions involved when apprehending a suspect to mastering basic forensic techniques. Groundbreaking for the National Law Enforcement Museum took place on October 14, 2010, with a projected opening in 2015.

The museum is beginning to acquire a number of historically significant artifacts:
  • From J. Edgar Hoover's Estate - more than 2,000 items. These include his office desk, chair and telephone, presentation items, awards, photographs, correspondence, books, recordings of Mr. Hoover's speeches and numerous other items that relate to his personal and professional life, specifically his tenure as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from 1924 to 1972.

  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is lending the Museum a number of historically significant items, including the .38-caliber, top break, 5 shot, pearl-handled handgun used by mobster Al Capone, as well as the Victor .32-caliber 5 shot of IRS Agent Michael Malone, who led the investigation that brought Capone to justice in 1931. In addition, the IRS is lending the Museum a number of historical badges worn by its agents involved in prohibition, narcotics, intelligence and other enforcement functions.

  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is lending the Museum the motorcycle used for over three decades by Undercover ATF agents while investigating the worst of the worst criminals across this country. From 1997 to 1999 ATF Agent Blake Boteler used the motorcycle to infiltrate the Sons of Silence outlaw motorcycle organization which ultimately led to the arrest of over 85 members and associates on weapons charges and drug trafficking charges in Colorado.
The National Law Enforcement Museum will include a vast collection of law enforcement artifacts and dedicated spaces for research and education. A wide range of educational programs will be available for school-age children, families, adults and law enforcement professionals.

Judiciary Square
400 block of E Street, NW
Washington, DC


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