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Police Magazine....




The spirit of protection and service definitely comes alive at the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum in Miami. Beyond its doors, visitors take an unforgettable journey through the history of law enforcement in the U.S.

This special place is much more than just some big building holding a boring museum . It's the nation's only memorial and museum honoring all police, including the federal, state, county, and local levels. Through a variety of exhibits, memorials, and programs, visitors to this memorable museum learn about heroes, living and dead, who have helped their communities through their police work.

Figuratively and literally, the centerpiece of the 1 1/2-acre property is the Memorial. This 400-ton white Italian marble memorial lists nearly 6,000 officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty since the museum opened in 1960. The memorial lists their name, rank, city, and state, while many loving tributes are left around the base of the monument. Outside, the flag flies at half-mast each time a police officer is killed, which averages every 57 hours in the U.S.

Managed as a joint effort of the American Federation of Police & Concerned Citizens and the National Association of Chiefs of Police, the museum and hall of fame was a labor of love for retired Chief Gerald Arenberg. He was the founder and driving force for this phenomenal resource and, though retired from formal involvement, he's still an active voice in its continued success.

For more than 35 years, the museum has collected a wide variety of artifacts related to the rich history of law enforcement. There are currently more than 11,000 items on display, ranging from artifacts from the 1700s to a sneak preview of futuristic police equipment.

Exhibits featuring courageous heroes and notorious criminals encourage hands-on visitor participation, as well as being informative. Some of the many highlights are: several police motorcycles and vehicles, including the actual police car from the motion picture Blade Runner; a gas chamber; an electric chair; a jail cell; thousands of police badges and patches; hundreds of firearms; varied police uniforms; a guillotine; and a participatory crime scene. A video room shows continuous films on crime prevention and how citizens can help the police, while a family chapel is maintained by the Venerable Order of the Knights of Michael the Archangel. The gift shop is also a required stop for most visitors.

Along with honoring the memory of slain officers and highlighting the history of law enforcement, the museum is also active in other efforts. Activities include assistance to slain officers' families includes an emergency check; immediate grief counseling; posthumous Police Medal of Honor Citation and Memorial Flag; a Police Family Survivor's Fund newsletter; Officer of the Year awards; scholarship funds; summer camps; Annual Police Week ceremonies and survivor's luncheon; community activities; active training rooms and programs; and political pursuits on behalf of police officers and their families.

Many school tour groups, international visitors, and family survivors are a daily occurrence at this bustling museum. The legacy of police officers who served their communities nationwide will live forever, thanks to the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum.

The American Police Hall of Fame and Museum is open 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, except Christmas Day. It is located at 3801 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33137, (305) 573-0070.