Beale Street is known for being safe. One of the reasons is this active police station/museum. The archives are fascinating. ... More
Memphis Police Museum
Beale Street is known for being safe. One of the reasons is this active police station/museum. The archives are fascinating. Newspaper clippings and photos relating to such famous criminals as Machine Gun Kelly and events such as the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr are on display. Even the arrest records of "ordinary" criminals in the late 1800s and early 1900s tell a great deal about pre-integration Memphis. There is an extensive exhibit of weapons and other items confiscated from criminals. You can also see a real jail cell and have your picture taken inside it. There is no admission charge.
Was walking up Beale St. on a fairly quiet night in Feb 04. Lo and behold, there was a police museum inside a storefront, which also served as a working precinct. Admission was free, and just inside the door, the on-duty seargent sat up behind a tall desk.
Lots of cool, historical stuff to look at, and as I was perrusing the displays, officers were dragging handcuffed prisoners thru the museum area and into booking areas that were thru some doorways in the rear. That ambiance was priceless, for as one perused the criminals of the past, the latest criminals were brought thru the museum to be booked.
Fast forward to Feb 09, the museum/precinct is gone. It was truley one of those great gems, you stumble into while looking for something else. I don't know if they moved the stuff to display somewhere else, but they'll never be able to re-create that amibiance!
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