Visiting the Los Angeles Police Museum
After highlighting one of LA’s most popular museum I figured I couldn’t let International Museum Day pass without also highlighting one of the city’s hidden gems. This past weekend I took part in Museums of the Arroyo Day and headed to a museum that had long been on my list to visit – the Los Angeles Policy Museum.
The museum is housed in the former Highland Park Policy Station. This historic structure first opened in 1926 and operated as a station until 1984. Today it houses several artifacts devoted to the history of the LAPD.
One of the highlights is a recreation of the uniform worn by Alice Stebbins Wells, the first policewomen in the US. Ms. Wells was married to a member of the LAPD and decided she wanted to join the force also. Having no protocol for female officers the department agreed that if she could pass a physical she could join. In 1910 she did just that wearing a homemade uniform as there were no official ones available.
Wandering around the museum I came across several interesting artifacts including the above image from The Los Angeles Police Beat Magazine and these artifacts from the former Greybar Grill at the City Jail.
The museum also has several historic vehicles on display.
Beautifully restored they are a fascinating timeline of LAPD history.
Because the museum is housed in a former station it still retains its original jail cells. Without the fear of being locked up I took to exploring them.
Yeesh! Glad I’ve never had to spend a night in one of these.
The museum is a fun and fascinating place to explore. I learned much about the LAPD’s history and am happy this historic structure has been saved so generations to come may learn of LA’s storied past.