Spokane Law Enforcement Museum needs new home
SPOKANE, Wash. — A local museum dedicated to educating the community about law enforcement may soon have to close its doors.
The Spokane Law Enforcement Museum has been operating rent free out of an old Cop Shop downtown, but now the owners of the building are re-vamping it, and say the museum has to be out by the end of June.
But the non-profit is having trouble finding a new building they can afford.
The Spokane Law Enforcement Museum is Glen Whiteley’s brainchild.
“I’m retired from the county and the state,” Whiteley said. “25 years in law enforcement.”
Over the years, his combined love for art, history, and law enforcement grew into a huge collection. ?
“One of the sergeants said to me, ‘you know you’re such a junk collector, [so] I’ll give you my patch collection, [and] why don’t you put this into a museum?’ Well there weren’t any.”
In 2010, former Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick gave Whiteley the site on West 1st Avenue.
The former cop shop was turned into a museum and Whiteley got to use it rent free.
Glen explained the museum is important to the community not because of the stuff, but because of the message behind it.
“Through this museum, I want the public to learn that all officers aren’t bad,” he explained. “They are soldiers on the home front.”
So far, Whiteley hasn’t had much luck finding a new building with his tight budget.
“The one building I went to want[s] two million dollars for it,” he said.
He’s hoping the City or County will help sponsor the museum, or others from the community will step up and help financially.
“As long as I’m here on earth, I’m going to find a building and get this going again,” he said, “but I need help. I can’t do it alone.”
Whiteley explains it would be a crime for the museum’s paraphernalia to sit behind bars.
“We will have to leave here by June 30, lock stock and barrel,” he explained. “The building has to be cleaned and painted and we have to be completely out of here. Whether we find a place in that short of time, I don’t know. Otherwise we’ll have to put this in storage.”
The museum will host an open house for their five year anniversary the week of April 27.
If you have ideas of where the museum can relocate or how they can stay open, give them a call at (509) 625-3352 or visit them at 1201 W 1st Ave, Spokane, WA.