Spotlight: Portland Police Museum

Weekend on the Cheap:

User submission: Knit-a-Thon, this Saturday, January 15th at Flying Cat Coffee Company (30th & SE Division) from 8:00am – 10:00pm. All are welcome at this event to create warm hats and scarves for people who need them most. Patterns, mini-lessons, and free coffee for participants. Bring any bulky yarn you have lying around. Donated yarn will also be available for those who need it. Come for an hour or come for the whole day!

User submission: ‘Read it and Weep,’ a Portland-based comedy podcast, is making its stage debut with a tribute to the incomparable Keanu Reeves. The comedy team
will be appearing for just one night—this Saturday, January 15th at
10pm—at the historic ComedySportz Arena in Northwest Portland.
Tickets are just $5 at the door.

Annual J.R.R. Tolkien Birthday Bash at McMenamins Kennedy School this Saturday beginning at 11:00am and lasting all day. Features the film trilogy, music by the Garcia Birthday Band, food specials, costume contest and much more. Free for all ages.

– Martin Luther King Jr. observance will occur on Monday, January 17th with special events beginning this Friday. The 26th annual “Keep Alive the Dream” will be this Monday; Oregonlive has posted a listing of events here. The NAACP Portland Branch has listed events on their web site here. (Thanks to an alert reader who realized this was for Portland, Maine!!) This weekend is also a great time to give back to our community through volunteering; Hands on Greater Portland , along with the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, have plenty of opportunities listed for projects all around the Portland area.

– For other ideas on cheap stuff to do this weekend, please visit Aroundthesunblog or PDXPipeline.


Have you ever wanted to….
Take a picture with McGruff the Crime Dog?
Get into a police motorcycle side car?
Step into a holding cell without the arrest?
Learn about Portland’s history of policing? (including America’s first police woman!)

Then take a ride on the elevator to the 16th floor of Central Precinct, located in downtown Portland at the Justice Center, to the very well-reviewed Portland Police Museum. The museum is run by the non-profit Portland Police Historical Society, in operation since 1976. So just what will you find at the museum? For starters, how about displays, exhibits and/or photographs on:

– Portland’s first traffic signal
– badges
– uniforms
– prison clothing
– arrest logs and watch books
– a bomb removal robot
– communications
– harbor patrol boats
– police cars and motorcycles
– horse patrols
– handcuffs
– batons
– body armor
– firearms
– Portland’s police chiefs
– notable Portland police officers
– photos of the famous visiting with police dignitaries (yup, that is Mr. Universe himself, Ahnuld sporting some Conan-esque hair)

After looking through and reading about the above exhibits, it’s time for some hands-on play:
– step inside a precinct holding cell and have someone take a picture “from the outside”
– take a photo as a police officer — there are uniforms, helmets, equipment belts, jackets and body armor that you can try on. Sunglasses not included, so bring your own!
– once you are all decked out in a uniform, saddle the motorcycle or sit inside the sidecar and get your photo taken (don’t forget to bring your camera)

Currently the museum also features the “Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) Learning Exhibit” with education stations on microscopic details, UV light / Black light, report writing and the science of fingerprint identification.

The Portland Police Museum is open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays from 10:00am to 3:00pm. And because the museum is located inside the Justice Center, please be advised of their strict security protocols: all persons 18 years and older must have photo identification. No sharp objects, explosives of any kind or weapons can be taken into the building. You will check in at the front reception area and after your ID is recorded, you’ll receive a visitor pass. You will need to wear this on your clothing for the duration of your visit. If the City of Portland is on a national alert that is represented by the color orange or the color red, the museum will be closed until further notice.

There is no cost for admission into the museum, but they do accept donations and they have a small store where you can purchase postcards, tee shirts, sweaters, hats and more. We took our classroom of teenage students and they loved it. Hard to argue with that assessment!

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2 Responses to Spotlight: Portland Police Museum

  1. markam says:

    Just FYI, the link given here for the NAACP Portland Branch is actually for the Portland Maine branch, not Portland Oregon.

    • admin says:

      YES! We goofed, thanks very much for the head’s up, we’re so embarrassed! Well, if you can make it out cross country to Portland, Maine, then check out the link, otherwise see these listings from Oregonlive

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