The planned National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, D.C., will include an emergency call center, a forensics lab, and the personal stories of nearly 19,000 law enforcement officials who have died in the line of duty, says the Washington Post. Yesterday, the museum’s founders took an important step toward making that a reality. Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and others shoveled dirt to mark the beginning of construction.
The museum was authorized by Congress in 2000, and the organizers have raised $41 million toward the $80 million goal from private sources. The largest donor to date is the Police Unity Tour, a nonprofit group that raises money through bicycle events, which gave $5 million. Including that gift, law enforcement groups have donated $13 million. Motorola, Target, and DuPont are among the lead corporate sponsors. The museum is scheduled to open in late 2013. Featured in various halls will be 14,000 objects, including artifacts from Hollywood’s interpretation of the profession. The narrative will include the history of sheriffs from colonial days to today, and the work it took to capture such notorious gangsters as Al Capone. Artifcats from the estate of legendary FBI director J. Edgar Hoover will be displayed.