Founded in 1983, it came to be as a result of the efforts of a group of Cleveland policemen and area citizens. The idea was hatched as a result of a visit to Scotland Yard’s Black Museum in London, England by Cleveland Police Detective Robert Bolton, who then convinced Chief William Hanton that Cleveland should have its own police museum. Over a period of 7 months, members of the department and private citizens worked together to create a nonprofit historical society. At first, the museum was only was allotted 1200 sq. ft. of space on the first floor of the Justice Center, and 4 years after its founding, the museum was one of only 12 of its kind in the United States. It received visitors not only from local areas but also from around the world. It features exhibits documenting the history of the Cleveland Division of Police from its inception in 1866, and differentiates itself from other museums of its kind as it is funded completely by private citizens and is not controlled or funded by the Cleveland Police Department or state or federal tax dollars.
The museum now has a larger area than when it began, currently with over 4,000 square feet of space. It continues to work to preserve the history of the police department, in addition to fostering a better understanding of the role of law enforcement within the community. My husband’s grandfather was a police officer in Cleveland from the late 1920s to the early 1940s, so the family has a great appreciation for the police officers that are on the front lines of keeping Clevelanders and the city's visitors safe. It’s nice to know that their efforts are being recorded and maintained for future generations to appreciate.
If you would like more information on the Cleveland Police Historical Society Inc. and Museum, you can visit their web site, here.
Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information, here.