Police had a SWAT armored truck, command van and bomb robot Saturday on the southwest corner of Rural Road and Southern Avenue in Tempe. But they weren’t dealing with any hostage situation or defusing any bombs.
Tempe police, along with the Tempe Historical Museum, were unveiling a new exhibit, “Tempe Police: Their Own Story.”
Police displayed several police vehicles and let residents get an inside look at how they operate.
The exhibit, which will run through spring 2008, chronicles the history of the police department with interactive features from having visitors’ pictures taken on a Kawasaki police motorcycle to hearing officers talk about covering Super Bowl XXX.
“This is our chance to reach out to the community,” police Chief Tom Ryff said. “There is no better way to share our history with the people we serve.”
Ryff also said the exhibit is a good way to pay tribute to employees who have worked for the department.
Bill Pardee of Tempe worked for the department as a dispatcher in the 1980s and said the exhibit was a good tribute to Tempe’s past.
“You see a lot of people you know,” Pardee said. “It’s a good connection of where we used to be.”
Museum administrator Amy Douglass said it took about two years to do the research and obtain artifacts.
Tempe resident Holly Schineller said she frequently takes her children to classes at the museum.
“Tempe is so family-friendly,” she said. “We’ve been lucky to be here.”
George Terrell of Tempe brought his 5-year-old son because he wants to be a police officer.
“It’s interesting to see all of the different tools they’ve used,” Terrell said. “They have to deal with a lot.”
Tempe Police: Their Own Story
When: Now through spring 2008
Where: Tempe Historical Museum, 809 E. Southern Ave.
Information: (480) 350-5100