Trip to the Richmond Police Museum

policeacademyLast week I visited the Richmond Police Museum, a not-quite-open museum at the Police Academy, in order to learn as much as possible about policing in the 1920s. I had two–count them, TWO–captains showing me around the artifacts and answering my questions as best they could, seeing that they are way to have even heard stories about the Roaring Twenties. Most of the exhibits have stuff from the Fifties to present, or some really old stuff from the late 19th century, but not much from the early 20th century. I did learn some good things about call boxes (how they worked), detective uniforms (none), badges (no name tags), cars (nope, police walked a beat or used motorcycles), and what to do when the police would come across a murder victim (call the funeral home and get them to pick up the body). Police labs were in the future and detectives–if they came to a murder scene–would have looked for little more than fingerprints, shoe prints, and tire tracks. Even if someone found fingerprints, it was unlikely they would match up with anyone, since there was no database. I learned that teletype was used in the Twenties (and is still used) to communicate between police departments, and I’ll be able to use that tidbit in a future mystery. All in all, an interesting afternoon!images

Published in: on September 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I am a retired police officer and have some parts of a police uniform that I can use to recreate a proper uniform.However I am lacking information on hats and tunics worn here in Virginia. I am a former Suffolk County NY Highway patrol officer and have researched the uniforms of that department. I am hoping that the uniforms here in Virginia are similar to the one I am working on. Does the Richmond Museum have any uniforms from the 20’s? Any suggestions?
    Ron Puza

    • Hello Ron. The Richmond Police Museum is just getting underway; it has no regular hours. You can contact Capt. Ladin at the Richmond Police Academy for information. Their collection includes almost nothing from the 1920s; most stuff is from the 50s forward. Good luck with your re-creation project!

  2. Check out the Museum’s website for hours of operation or contact me at the number listed on the website.

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