PoliceOne Staff Report
(MIAMI) -- Former chief of police and sheriff's deputy Gerald S. Arenberg, who organized the National Association of Chiefs of Police in 1978 and spearheaded the creation of the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum has died.
Arenberg, 70, was an outspoken champion for officers' needs and policies, including a national effort to equip officers with protective vests and urging cities to create programs to allow officers to live where they police. He died Nov. 16 at the age of 70, after a two-year battle with cancer, the association reported.
Born in Chicago on Feb. 15, 1930, Arenberg was Cook County, Ill. deputy for nine years before becoming the chief of police for the Village of Gold, Illinois, near Chicago. At that post he was the youngest police chief at that time in the greater-Chicago area.
A veteran of the Korean War, Arenberg's lifelong quest to honor fallen officers began in 1955 when he was nearly killed directing traffic. He was struck by a vehicle driven by a drunken driver, according to Jim Gordon, the hall of fame's executive director for publications.
Arenberg saw a reason for his survival and months-long recovery, and decided to dedicate his life to remember officers across the country who had made the ultimate sacrifice.
The first editor of Police Times Magazine, Arenberg was the author of several law enforcement books and manuals.
In 1978 Arenberg organized and became the first executive director of the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
The first hall of fame opened in 1960 in Port Charlotte, Florida. Thirty years later it was moved to its downtown Miami location.
In keeping with Arenberg's wishes, a memorial ceremony will be held on May 15, 2001 at the American Police Hall of Fame, in conjunction with the organization's annual memorial services.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that a donation be made in Arenberg's name to "The American Police Hall of Fame, 3801 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33137.