I recently spoke with Craig Floyd at the IACP convention in Boston. Craig is the Chairman and Executive Director of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF). He related to me that the National Law Enforcement Museum is scheduled to open in 2009. Visualize, if you can, a 90,000 square foot museum with a "hands-on" classroom that will show the public just what it takes to be a cop. Some of the exhibits will include a driving simulator, judgmental use of force simulator, a typical locker room, roll call room, crime scene, and much more. There is also a theater containing a 40 foot panoramic screen that will mesmerize and enchant visitors with stories about cops and their careers.
Laurie Baty, Director of Museum Programs, is excited about the challenge that she faces in building and outfitting this project. She told me at the IACP that the museum will be unlike anything we have ever seen, and that it will be the premiere source of information on law enforcement in the United States. Both she and Craig are traveling around the country raising awareness and funds to successfully complete the ambitious undertaking. Inasmuch as the museum is funded entirely by private funds, they seek both corporate partners and individual donors. If you want to help ensure that our "Heroes Live Forever," you can make an on-line contribution as an individual, or if you are in the private sector, become a corporate partner as Advanced Interactive Systems just did by making a donation valued at over one million dollars.
Groundbreaking for the museum is scheduled for 2007; the price tag for this glorious vision is $80 million. I know that none of us became cops thinking that we would become rich. Indeed, many of us live from paycheck to paycheck and work second jobs to support our families. However, all of us need to sacrifice and donate whatever we can so that this dream comes to fruition. If you need any motivation to dig deep, I suggest you visit the Memorial. Take a walk down the "pathways of remembrance" and view the thousands of names of our fallen guardians; I guarantee it will send chills through your body. Do your part to honor our fallen angels who now walk their beats on the streets of heaven, finally out of harm's way.