Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Domestic Violence Prevention Programs at the NLEM: Part II

As we’ve seen in Part One of this blog post, our nation’s law enforcement officers are profoundly affected by the number in their ranks who are killed, assaulted, or experienced trauma each year as a result of having to respond to incidents of domestic violence (DV). And since part of the mission of the National Law Enforcement Museum is to tell the story of American law enforcement and contribute to a safer society, the rationale for the Museum to be involved in developing DV prevention programs is clear.

In recognition of this, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund—the organization building the Museum—received a generous grant from the Verizon Foundation in May 2009. As the Museum’s Community Education Specialist, I am responsible for helping to develop and evaluate the grant’s two DV prevention projects, both of which are designated as “Socially Responsible Education Programs.” The Domestic Violence Prevention Advisory Committee—a diverse group of more than a dozen experts from the fields of DV prevention, law enforcement, and public and museum education—has been brought together to ensure that these two programs are innovative and effective.

K-12 students and their families will visit the Museum for kIDsafe, an interactive, monthly family day event during which they will learn about general safety topics by participating in a variety of activities. The DV component of the event will focus on increasing the visitors’ use of DV prevention strategies. For example, young children could create a list of people to turn to for safety and teenagers might learn to recognize, early on, the signs of an unhealthy relationship. On the other hand, the “DV Awareness and Prevention Program” will be a certification program that will enable teachers, school counselors, and administrators within the Washington metropolitan region to identify and prevent domestic violence among the student population. And by collaborating with their school resource officers—those law enforcement personnel who are school-based—these professionals will be able to create a protocol to help their colleagues vigorously address the issue when it arises.

By developing these programs, the Museum hopes to decrease incidents of domestic violence and to ultimately increase respect, trust and confidence between law enforcement and domestic violence victims, their families and the general public. In mid-October, we were happy to welcome onto our staff Smita Varia as our DV Prevention Specialist, and we view her addition as another step forward on the way to achieving these objectives.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December Artifact Detective: Cartoon Cop

Artifact Detective logo with magnifying glass
Please help us uncover some of the stories behind our objects. Leave a comment with anything you may know about the featured item. We welcome all information, and we’d appreciate sources and citations when possible. Thanks!

Hand-painted cartoon cell of a Flintstones police officer from the NLEM collection
Flintstones police officer, original artwork, hand painted cell, c 1960. 2007.118.1. Gift of Dick Wenig. Collection of the NLEM, Washington, DC.

What we know:
This is a hand-painted cell of a Flintstones cartoon police officer character.
William Hanna & Joe Barbera produced the cartoon show.
The Flintstones ran for 166 episodes. It premiered on ABC on September 30, 1960, and ran for six seasons. The final episode aired on April 1, 1966.

What we want to know:
What was this character’s name?
What years did he appear on The Flintstones?
Do you have, or do you know someone who has, objects related to law enforcement characters?
Who are some of the other cartoon and comic book officers that you remember from your childhood?

If you have any information about this object or own an object similar to this, leave me a comment!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bringing the Museum Into Your Home: The NLEM’s Online Catalog

The National Law Enforcement Museum is one of only a few museums that has decided to catalog ALL of its collections—from books, manuscripts, and photographs to oral histories and three-dimensional artifacts—in one database, thus allowing access to all kinds of information about similar materials held by the Museum. In addition, because of rapid changes in technology, the Museum’s catalog will provide access to images, electronic files, video, and other kinds of materials usually only seen in-house. By joining forces with other international online catalogs, the NLEM truly will be a national museum by reaching a broad audience of individuals interested in law enforcement history who might not otherwise know that the NLEM exists.

The Museum’s catalog is now live. We have over 700 books and over 145 oral histories from former Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation now available, and we have an ambitious plan to have complete information—from the history of an object, a photograph of it, and other information that we may have—about the majority of our collection (books, oral histories, photographs, uniforms, badges, etc.) online by the end of 2011.

Wynne James wanted poster, c.1940. 2008.40.20.What kinds of “stuff” does a Museum have? Could we help you identify something that you’ve had in the family for years? The Museum’s catalog might be able to help you answer those questions. It is keyword searchable, so you can type in the words you think might be related to an item. If you want to see what we have related to wanted posters, type those words in and you will see a list of books on wanted posters, as well as historical wanted posters from John Dillinger to Patty Hearst. If you are interested in the Barbara Mackle kidnapping, type in those words—you'll get “hits” on oral histories and a book about the kidnapping. We also have prepared some “canned” searches specifically for the FBI oral histories. We intend to add similar searches for other important topics as well, as we add more of our artifact information to the catalog.

Take a look—the direct link is http://research.nlem.org/.

We would love to hear what you think.