The Evolution of Crime Fighting

Toledo Time Travels  |  06/05/2019 4:00 pm

The charming brick building nestled under the trees in Ottawa Park doesn’t offer many clues about the Toledo Police Museum, but inside is one of the quirkiest and most fascinating stops for anyone interested in Toledo history. Ever wonder what it’s like to have your mug shot and finger prints taken and then be locked up in a jail cell? Want to investigate some police records to learn more about Toledo’s criminal underbelly? You’re in luck! The Toledo Police Museum offers these experiences as well as an enthralling trip back in time when officers walked their beats in all kinds of weather, used call boxes to check-in with headquarters, and chased gangsters with nicknames like Chalky Red, Leo Lips, and Firetop.

The Toledo Police Museum offers interactive displays along with a timeline highlighting the bountiful history of the department, going back to 1837 and the appointment of Calvin Comstock as Toledo’s first City Marshal. Several rotating exhibits feature various police department sections or highlight specific officers who served the Toledo community. Some of the historical artifacts on display include a 1948 police wagon, counterfeit money, confiscated weapons (including the gun used by the notorious Licavoli Gang to kill Jack Kennedy in Point Place during the Unholy Toledo era), a replica of Old Sparky—Ohio’s electric chair, a call box, badges, photographs, uniforms, and police records. Photographs? Police records? Sound boring? Trust me, this stuff is fascinating! All the artifacts are well-detailed with gallery cards and display posters. The museum’s volunteers (mostly retired TPD), are expert storytellers. Their spirited narratives make these artifacts come alive!

The Toledo Police Museum is situated in Ottawa Park, directly next door to a playground and the Liz Pierson Picnic Shelter. Plan on spending a few hours to fully enjoy this venue. Are you into classic cars? Don’t miss the Police Museum’s annual Cops and Rodders Car Show each June. It’s one of the area’s best shows.

More information for planning your visit are available at www.toledopolicemuseum.com.

If You Go

What: Toledo Police Museum 

Where: 2201 Kenwood Blvd. (Ottawa Park), Toledo, Ohio 43606; (419) 720-2485

Hours: Summer Hours: Thursday through Saturday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (through August); Winter Hours: Friday and Saturday, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Tours can be scheduled for outside normal hours by email request.

For the Kids: While some of the exhibits at the Toledo Police Museum are a bit on the heavy side, there are a quite a few exhibits and programs designed specifically for children. This is definitely a kid-friendly museum. Our grandkids loved the fingerprint station and mugshot exhibit.

Cost: Free.

Parking: Parking is free and located close to the entrance.

For more local history, check out Tedd Long's history blog at www.teddlong.com


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