Minneapolis cops start 'virtual museum' of department history

The online Minneapolis Police Museum features photos and documents of the department's history, as well as a blog devoted to department lore


Libor Jany
Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — A century and a half of Minneapolis police history is now on display in a “virtual museum” started by two veteran officers.

The “Minneapolis Police Museum,” which launched last month, pays tribute to the department through photos, documents and a blog devoted to little-known MPD lore.

Photos like this snapshot during Minneapolis' 1969 National Police Week celebration, are displayed as part of the Minneapolis Police Museum's virtual exhibits. (Photo/MPM)
Photos like this snapshot during Minneapolis' 1969 National Police Week celebration, are displayed as part of the Minneapolis Police Museum's virtual exhibits. (Photo/MPM)

For now, the exhibits exist only on Tumblr, but the museum’s founders, Lt. Christopher Hudok and Sgt. Kenneth Tidgwell, hope to eventually move its artifacts into a permanent brick-and-mortar space.

“Our goal for our museum is to design and implement permanent and temporary exhibits to celebrate our heritage and highlight topical themes which will be of great meaning to the community,” the museum’s site says. “No other organization is telling our story and we know that no one can better foster empathy towards, interest in, and understanding of our profession than we can.”

A recent blog post, reprinted from Tidgwell’s book about the department’s first 150 years, followed officers who responded to the 2011 tornado that wreaked havoc on north Minneapolis. Previous entries covered the long-disbanded 6th Precinct, whose station used to be on what is now Eat Street, and the time the department briefly switched to all-white squad cars.

The museum, a private nonprofit, was started with the help of the Minnesota Historical Society and the Hennepin Central Library, according to its website.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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