National Law Enforcement Museum Lets Public See What It’s Like Being A Police Officer

police car
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A new museum in Washington, D.C., has now given the public a chance to walk in the footsteps of the police, detectives, and forensic scientists, reports the Washington Post. The museum, titled the National Law Enforcement Museum, has interactive exhibits. For those who have always been curious what it’s like to perform the jobs of these individuals who help solve crimes.

Julie Bell is the museum’s manager of school programs, and is delighted to bring visitors this “walk in their shoes experience.” The Washington Post gave some insight into the various types of exhibits that are featured in the museum. The names of the exhibits are The Web of Law Enforcement, K-9 Units, The Training Simulator, and Five Communities.

The museum does have an admission fee for ages 6-years-old and up. Those six to 11 will be charged $14.95 USD and those 12 and older will see a charge of $21.95 USD. The museum is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., except on Thursdays when it will be open until 9:00 p.m.

Police chief in Charleston, South Carolina, Luther Reynolds spoke out about the various police departments to the museum, saying that all departments in the United States do have room to get better, insinuating that he is in favor of the area in the museum left for visitors to share their thoughts on continuing to reduce crime and “[increase] trust between residents and the police.”

The exhibit titled The Web of Law Enforcement shows visitors the team efforts that go into solving crime across the entire country, including the Secret Service, Coast Guard, FBI, and even the Postal Inspection Service. The K-9 Units exhibit shows off a video of the dogs being trained in the various K-9 units. Visitors will get a chance to test their own senses of smell while they also learn which dog breeds are best at tracking or sniffing out drugs. The Five Communities exhibit will help the public learn the differences, needs, and challenges of the five communities being addressed. According to the Washington Post, it would seem this is the location where visitors can share their own thoughts.

Perhaps the most exciting exhibit to some is The Training Simulator, which is for those ages 12 years and older. In this exhibit, visitors will get the chance to experience the training scenarios as well as the professional law enforcement equipment used by officers during difficult situations. This simulator will also include a video that will in fact be based on real-life police encounters. It will “test participants’ abilities to observe accurately and think quickly before reacting.” The idea behind this simulator is to help visitors understand the lives of those in the police force.

Alan Davis, who is a retired New York Police officer, remarked on his own experience at the museum with his children.

“Many kids first think it’s like a video game. They soon realize that real-life split-second decision-making isn’t easy, and they freeze. For real police, there are no second chances.”