The Phoenix Police Museum celebrated its grand reopening on Wednesday, June 6, 2012. The event was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication attended by Police Chief Daniel Garcia, City Manager Dave Cavazos and Assistant City Manager Ed Zuercher.
The Phoenix Police Museum’s new home is located in the recently restored, original City Hall, located at 17 South 2nd Avenue. The museum closed its previous location in the first floor of the old Barrister Place building back in July in order to move to its new location.
The move also represents a homecoming of sorts for the museum and the collections on display. The old courthouse is where the Phoenix Police Department was once located in the 1920’s, and remained there for several decades. The museum now occupies what used to be the police department’s front desk and communications area.
In addition to being 1,500 square feet larger, the museums new location features several improvements, including 13 display cases showcasing the progression of the department; from its humble beginnings back in the1880s, up to the present day. Some of the larger items on display include: a 1919 Model T “Tin Lizzie,” a squad car from the 1980’s, a police motorcycle and “Leroi,” one of the first police robots used for bomb disposal. The first helicopter used by the Phoenix Police Department in the 1970’s is on display as well.
Several illuminated cases present old police badges and restraints, uniforms and ID cards. The history of the Miranda arrest in Phoenix and subsequent Supreme Court decision that followed is on display, as well as a piece if I-beam from the World Trade Center.
Museum curator Mike Nikolin has collected several of the historical items and artifacts donated by the families of police officers. Nikolin retired from the Phoenix Police Department as a lieutenant, after 32 years of service.
A memorial room of the museum is dedicated to the memory of the 35 Phoenix officers who have fallen in the line of duty. Photographs of the officers accompany the story of how their lives were lost. The memorial room has a stained-glassed window, several plaques and a sculpture-topped memorial to the fallen officers of the Phoenix police Department.
The museum is free and open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.