Printer Friendly


Experience the largest, most comprehensive museum of its kind

From the moment you enter the National Law Enforcement Museum, it is clear that it is unlike any other museum you've ever visited before. As you cross the glass bridge and descend into the Museum's exhibit area, your eyes and ears will begin to fill with the sights, sounds and stories of law enforcement's past, present and future.

The Museum is designed to be a free-choice learning experience. In other words, visitors can start at any number of places within the Museum and explore from there, with access to the latest in educational technology to enhance the experience.
  • THEATER Take a seat in the Introductory Theater to view a gripping film that will challenge your impressions of law enforcement. Shown on a panoramic screen, the film puts visitors at the center of the important and complex relationship between law enforcement officers and the public they serve.

  • BEING AN OFFICER Walk in an officer’s shoes exploring both the “everyday” activities of real officers in A Day in the Life as well as the highly specialized—and often dangerous—work of K-9, SWAT, Bomb Squad, and Undercover and Surveillance units.
  • HISTORY BEAT Six iconic artifacts and a unique audiovisual experience highlight issues that have continuing relevance to American law enforcement and society.

  • HISTORY TIME CAPSULES Explore law enforcement history from the 1600s to today. Significant objects—Eliot Ness’s credentials, Pat Garrett’s derringer, Al Capone’s bullet proof vest—help tell the dynamic story of law enforcement in the United States.

  • TO SERVE AND PROTECT Learn the stories of real events and their impact on communities, including the story illustrating the U.S. Park Police Eagle One Bell helicopter which was used to rescue the victims of the 1982 Air Florida crash in Washington, DC.

  • OFFICERS' STORIES Learn about the lives of law enforcement officers as told in their own words.

  • 911 EMERGENCY OPS Experience and learn about the decisions dispatchers make in the 911 Emergency Ops exhibit. Get a feel for the tools that o cers use every day in the Tools of the Trade exhibit.

  • TAKE THE CASE Put your investigative skills to work and solve a crime. Collect evidence from the scene, learn how to interpret clues, and then analyze the facts in a realistic forensics lab. Once you have solved the crime, make an arrest.
  • REEL TO REAL Take an exciting look at portrayals of law enforcement in pop culture through TV and movies.

  • CHANGING EXHIBITS GALLERY Take an in-depth look at some of the fascinating stories, trends and developments in law enforcement over the years through the Changing Exhibits Gallery.

  • HALL OF REMEMBRANCE Remember and honor more than 20,000 law enforcement officers who have made the supreme sacrifice, and whose names are inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

Exhibition Designers

Christopher Chadbourne and Associates

Founded in 1976, Christopher Chadbourne & Associates (CCA) is an internationally renowned exhibition design firm based in Boston, MA. CCA creates rich, three-dimensional environments that engage visitors through a combination of cutting-edge technologies, interactivity geared to differing learning styles, compelling graphics, carefully selected and deployed artifacts, and techniques derived from the world of theater. CCA has done exhibition design for a range of museums, visitor centers, themed attractions, private sector corporations and regional heritage tourism partnerships. Its portfolio includes exhibition design for the National Marine Corps Museum, the Mount Vernon Educational Center and the "Price of Freedom: Americans at War" exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.