Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Sneak Peak at Officers' Stories

“In that moment I knew…sign me up for this. Sign me up to be proud to work for the federal court system.”

- Supervisory U.S. Probation Officer Amber R. Lupkes, Northern District of Iowa
Supervisory U.S. Probation Officer Amber R. Lupkes
Northern District of Iowa

What’s it like to walk in the shoes of a real law enforcement officer? The museum team, along with the renowned Richard Lewis Media Group, just finished interviewing several pre-trial and probation officers to find out. Their personal journeys will be part of the Museum’s interactive “Officers’ Stories” exhibit featuring a diverse collection of stories from law enforcement officers from across the country. Hear in their own words what it’s like to be a law enforcement professional. Here’s one officer’s story:

“The judge I worked for at that point was a Magistrate Judge, who is now a Chief Judge in the Southern District of Iowa. There was a day that was a little slow, so I had the opportunity to go sit in on a courtroom and listen to the sentencing of a defendant that was being sentenced on a new case. I had never been in this courtroom, never been in front of this judge…and as I sat there the judge was reading a pre-sentence report.

The judge made note and looked at the defendant and said, ‘you have a long list of violence against women. I’ve honestly never seen as much violence against women as you have. I would like you to stand and address the court and explain to me the reason for this.’ He stood up, without missing a beat, he looked at the judge and said, ‘I’ve just met all the wrong women.’ And that judge looked at him and said, ‘You’ve just met another one.’ His defense attorney grabbed his jumpsuit and was like ‘Sit down now.’

“In that moment I knew…sign me up for this. Sign me up to be proud to work for the federal court system.”
—Supervisory U.S. Probation Officer Amber R. Lupkes, Northern District of Iowa

Pop Culture Meets the Real Deal in Reel to Real

Actor Vincent D'Onofrio and Boston (MA) Police Superintendent-in-Chief William Gross
It would be great if all crimes could be solved in a mere 60 minutes like they are on television, but we all know that’s not the case. One of the most exciting exhibits at the new National Law Enforcement Museum promises to be Reel to Real. Actor and long-time supporter of the National Law Enforcement Museum Vincent D’Onofrio, recently sat down with Boston (MA) Police Superintendent-in-Chief William Gross for a discussion about the real-life scenarios that have inspired some of our favorite scenes in movies and television.
Visitors will get to see this lively discussion in our new Cop Critique Theater when the museum opens next fall. Our staff recently invited many Museum Insider subscribers to weigh in on their favorite law enforcement show, fictional cop, best police chase and more. Those responses will be used as part of an interactive exhibit just outside the Cop Critique Theater. Did your favorite make the list? Stop by when the museum opens and see for yourself.
Museum goers will also be able to spend time browsing artifacts curated from pop culture such as a Dick Tracy wrist radio from the well-liked comic strip that debuted in 1931 or a sweatshirt worn by the character Jack Bauer from Fox Network’s 24. The Reel to Real exhibit promises a bit of nostalgia and pop culture for everyone.

History's Blotter: First Publicly Gay NYC Police Officer | November 20, 1981

“I am very proud of being a New York City policeman.
And I am equally proud of being gay.”

—Sgt. Charles H. Cochrane, November 20, 1981.
With those words, Sergeant Charles H. Cochrane, Jr. became the first publicly gay New York City police officer. The 14-year veteran of the New York (NY) Police Department testified before the New York City Council on November 20, 1981 as the council debated whether to pass a gay rights bill banning discrimination against gays in employment, housing and public accommodations.

The bill did not pass, but Cochrane’s testimony did make an impact. His decision to come out publicly was one he struggled with for months. “Most officers told me not to do it, that it would ruin my career.” He spoke to a gay community leader who warned Cochrane that he might be labeled “The Gay Cop.”  Undeterred, Cochrane decided to testify. A year later, he revealed in an interview that he had lost one close friend in the department, but that most reaction had been supportive.

In 1982, Cochrane co-founded the Gay Officers Action League, or GOAL. It was one of the first organizations providing support and advocacy for LBGTQ law enforcement professionals.  Cochrane retired from the NYPD five years later. In 2016, the city of New York decided to honor his advocacy and commitment to public service by renaming a street in his honor.

A look back in time at a moment in law enforcement history

For a long time, if you entered any police or sheriff’s department in the country, you would be greeted at the front desk by a sergeant presiding over a large bound book. Everyone who came into the station, every call patrolmen answered—it was all documented in that book, called a blotter. The National Law Enforcement Museum has acquired blotters from all across the United States. They are an important part of our collection—teeming with information about day-to-day law enforcement activities and touching on national events as they affected specific agencies.