In the year 2000, Congress passed legislation authorizing the building of a National Law Enforcement Museum near the Memorial. The Museum will be approximately 55,000 square feet, allowing for almost 15,000 square feet of exhibition space. The majority of the Museum will be underground, located at the 400 block of E Street, NW in Washington, D.C. The concept, according
to the Museum’s planners, is that visitors “will finally walk in the shoes of cops.”
Upon entering the Museum, a media wall will show law enforcement images on an 80×15-foot jumbo media screen. The Welcome Theater, a 40-foot wide screen, will show visitors a 12-minute video about law enforcement in America. “To Serve and Protect,” will explain how agencies work together to fight crime. The U.S. Park Police Eagle One Bell helicopter that famously rescued the victims from the 1982 Air Florida crash in the Potomac River will be on display. Seven History Time Capsules will show artifacts from the Colonial era through to the events of September 11, 2001, and beyond.
“The History Beat” will describe law enforcement battles through time, including against the Mafia or Ku Klux Klan. “Being an Officer” will show what its like to be a cop and show a day in the life on the beat with three patrol officers during a shift. A “Judgment Simulator,” sure to be popular, will show the split-second decisions law enforcement officers often have to make and the training it takes to hone that skill. Specialized units including K-9, SWAT, Undercover, Surveillance and Bomb Squad and Corrections Officers will also be showcased.