The Gilbert Historical Museum on Saturday is opening a new public safety exhibit honoring the police and fire departments that have served the town.
On hand for the opening day will be police officers and firefighters, the police department’s crime prevention unit, and old and new police cars and firetrucks.
The public safety exhibit includes a collection of equipment, photographs and history of the public safety workers who have served the town since it was founded.
“We have a lot of cool pictures and a lot of stories to tell,” said the museum’s executive director, Kayla Kolar.
The photographs and other museum artifacts date back to when the Gilbert Fire Department was made up of volunteers.
The museum even houses Gilbert’s first firetruck, a 1929 REO Speedwagon, in its front courtyard.
First-generation radios, a present day S.W.A.T. uniform, and a police motorcycle that kids can climb on also are part of the exhibit.
All items were donated by the police and fire departments or by families who had police and fire memorabilia.
The public safety exhibit started as a small memorial for Gilbert police officer Robert Targosz, the town’s only officer to be killed in the line of duty.
Targosz’s wife approached the museum about putting together a memorial and that sparked the project to create an exhibit dedicated to the Gilbert police and fire departments.
A display case to honor fallen officers will be included in the new exhibit.
A year of planning, more than 50 volunteers, and numerous donations went into creating the exhibit, Kolar said. “It was a real community effort.”
Gilbert Historical Museum
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Where: 10 S. Gilbert Road (southwest corner of Gilbert and Elliot roads).
Cost: $3 for adults, $1.50 for children 5-12, and under 5 is free.
Information: (480) 926-1577.