Monday, April 11, 2016

4th USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo

The National Law Enforcement Museum is proud to be an Official Partner of the 4th USA Science & Engineering Festival, to be held April 16-17, 2016 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

What is the universe made of? Why did dinosaurs go extinct? What do magic tricks and hip-hop have to with math? What will be the next medical breakthrough? What does baseball have to do with physics? Find out at the 4th USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo where more than 350,000 K-12 students and parents, over 5,000 teachers and over 3,000 STEM professionals will experience the largest celebration of STEM!

Participants include more than 1,000 of the world's leading professional scientific and engineering societies, universities, government agencies, high tech corporations and STEM outreach and community organizations.

The two-day Expo is perfect for teens, children and their families, and anyone with a curious mind who is looking for a weekend of fun and discovery. Meet science celebrities like Grammy Award-winning alternative music band "They Might Be Giants!" and  Bill Nye the Science Guy!

For more information visit

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Forensic Detectives

Tag members discuss fun activities.
The Teacher Advisory Group met in February to start work on our new summer camp. The Forensic Detectives is a weeklong camp for middle school students debuting this summer. The camp will introduce students to the messy and meticulous world of forensic science and will provide participants with a greater understanding of our criminal justice system and STEM related careers in law enforcement.

TAG brainstormed topics that would interest middle school students like fingerprinting, DNA, interrogating witnesses, impressions, and pathology. Over the afternoon, TAG played around with fieldtrips, science experiments, and law enforcement activities to create a fun-filled camp allowing students to explore how law enforcement connects to science and technology. TAG members were delighted by the summer camp’s potential to inspire children to pursue a career in law enforcement or STEM-related fields.

The Forensic Detectives is a summer camp that will be offered free of charge to 24 middle school students that attend a Title 1 school in the District of Columbia. Participants will be selected through an essay contest.

To learn more please visit:

The Forensic Detectives is made possible by Battelle.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Event Recap: An Evening with Charles Ramsey

It was an evening filled with many stories, enough to fill a 47 year law enforcement career. The program began with Craig Floyd, Chairman and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, welcoming the audience and introducing the night’s featured guest, Commissioner Charles Ramsey. Floyd outlined the Commissioner’s impressive career, serving first as an officer with the Chicago Police Department who rose through the ranks, then moving up to Chief of Police in Washington DC, and finally retiring as Police Commissioner for the Philadelphia (PA) PD in 2015.

Conversations on Law Enforcement: An Evening with Charles H. Ramsey
Conversations on Law Enforcement: An Evening with Charles H. Ramsey

Commissioner Ramsey began the program by telling the audience about how he “accidentally became a police officer.” As a young man, he worked in a grocery store where two officers frequently helped close up shop. One asked if he was interested in being a police officer. Despite plans to become a doctor, something about the offer had an appeal, including the fact that the department would pay for his college tuition. Ramsey signed up, became a cadet, and knew that police work was his calling.

Commissioner Ramsey remembered the challenging times police officers faced in Chicago during the 60s and 70s. This included the biggest controversy for the department at the time – integrating police cars. He said, “They called them salt and pepper cars.”
The Commissioner also shared how his philosophies on policing have changed over the years. “When asked what my fundamental duty is as a police officer, I used to say, ‘to enforce the law.’ Now I say that it is to protect the constitutional rights of all people. Those are two very different things.”  He also stressed the importance for officers “to strive to make every contact [with the public] as positive as possible,” and that the job really is ultimately about service.

Two of the biggest issues Commissioner Ramsey hopes to see change for police departments moving forward is a greater focus on community policing balanced with data driven systems, and more investment in the mental health of officers around the country.

In closing, Ramsey enthusiastically shared his support of the National Law Enforcement Museum being built, explaining its importance to the country. “[The Museum] captures the good, captures the bad, captures the real version of what police do. Without it, it would be left to Hollywood.”

Finally, Mr. Floyd thanked Commissioner Ramsey for what he has done for the families of officers who have died in the line of duty, acknowledging those in attendance who came to see him for that very reason.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Director’s Corner: Museum Construction Begins!

The National Law Enforcement Museum has officially secured the necessary financing to construct and complete our future home on E Street in Washington, DC. We crossed the finish line in late January when we closed on the sale of a number of municipal bonds that will finance the project. The DC Government has issued the building permit and the U.S. Department of the Interior has authorized us to proceed with construction which will commence this month — a major milestone for the museum and our team.

We are excited to be working with Clark Construction, our general contractor, headquartered in neighboring Bethesda, Maryland. Clark is known for their museum experience and has worked on the National Museum of the American Indian, the U.S. Institute of Peace Headquarters & Global Peace Center, and the National Museum of African American History & Culture to name a few.

To keep you updated on the Museum’s progress we will be setting up a webcam to stream the construction process. Check out the next Museum Insider for a link to the camera and in the meantime, please visit for more details about the project.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Celebrating 25 Years Since the Dedication of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, dedicated on October 15, 1991, the Museum Insider will showcase the number 25 in a new feature each month throughout 2016. So stay tuned! To kick things off, enjoy a few bits of law enforcement trivia.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Case Closed: TC Williams HS Students Take Part in Traveling Forensics Lab

On Thursday, December 3, 2015, students from TC Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., took part in a Traveling Forensics Lab session, taught by the National Law Enforcement Museum. A teacher at the school set up this forensic activity to have the STEM and Criminal Justice students participate.

Students were able to recreate blood stain patterns made by three different tools in the lab. They were then able to compare the blood stain patterns to those found at a crime scene. Students also used magnetic powder to dust and lift their own fingerprints. They were then able to classify their prints into three categories, loops, arches, or whorls. As part of the experience, they were able to read and verify a suspect’s alibi by looking at their call logs.

This multi-station Traveling Forensics Lab introduces students to forensic science. Students step into the shoes of crime scene investigators to solve a case. The course offers five core workshops that provide the key elements of forensic science and expose students to potential careers in forensics. These workshops were developed to meet the needs of 5th through 12th grade students, but can be tailored for any audience.

If you’re interested in hosting this or other forensic labs for your students, you can contact our educator at 202.737.7860 or You can also look at our Frequently Asked Questions.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Great Magician’s Escape

In 1906, the District of Columbia played host to “Handcuff King,” Harry Houdini. The great magician and his wife were visiting Washington, DC for Houdini’s performances at the Chase Theater when Metropolitan Police Chief Major Richard Sylvester invited the escape artist to test the Metropolitan Police’s metal. Sylvester, a leader in American policing, was eager to show off his newest station house built in 1901. The Tenth Precinct’s Lieutenant explained that the station house boasted, “…cells of the most modern and approved pattern. The doors of these cells are steel-barred and have the most intricate combination locks.”

Houdini arrived on January 1, 1906 to the Tenth Precinct to examine the jail cell and locks before the escape. Once he was ready, Houdini was searched, stripped, and placed in cell 3 while his clothes were placed in cell 6. Then, the police officers changed the game. Houdini remembered, “I heard [the police lieutenant] whisper to one of his men to bring him the locks for another cell.” With his pride and reputation on the line, Houdini went on with the trick knowing the stakes had been substantially raised. Houdini later said, “I took a long chance there.”

Officers and Members of No. 10 Precinct
Despite the added difficulty, Houdini completed the amazing escape from the special “invincible” Secret Service handcuffs, two padlocks, and two cell door locks, presenting himself to Police Chief Major Sylvester fully dressed in a mere twenty-six minutes. Chief Major Sylvester later wrote in a letter of testimony, “Mr. Houdini impressed his audience as a gentleman and an artist who does not profess to do the impossible.” Houdini repeated his escape at the Fifth Precinct and the District Jailhouse before departing the Nation’s Capital.