Last night, after formally breaking ground on the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, DC, distinguished guests from the government, corporate, and private sectors, along with law enforcement officers and supporters gathered at the National Building Museum for the Groundbreaking Gala.
Inside the black-tie event, celebrities including Bill Kurtis, Linda Carter, and Vincent D’Onofrio shared their support for the law enforcement community.
“Don’t get me wrong. I love portraying a cop on TV. And, I’d like to think I’ve helped our viewers gain an appreciation for the difficulties of the job, and the special talents and qualities it takes to be a law enforcement professional. I know I have tremendous respect for the men and women in policing, but it’s because I’ve experienced it having met many real-life cops. I want others to have that opportunity. That’s why this Museum is so important—it will change the way people think about the men and women who protect us”, said D’Onofrio.
The program also included videos from Target’s Chairman, President, and CEO, Gregg Steinhafel and Law & Order: SVU’s Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay, along with musical tributes by bagpipers Chris Jackson (Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, DC) and Steve Butterbrodt (Port Authority of NY/NJ Police Department) and Sergeant Michael Devine, and the keynote address by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.
“Homeland security begins with hometown security, and law enforcement play a critical role in keeping communities across our nation safe,” said Secretary Napolitano. “The National Law Enforcement Museum will pay tribute to the selfless commitment of the men and women in uniform who serve and protect our homeland.”
Boston Police Officer Thomas Griffiths, who was scheduled to speaking at the Groundbreaking Ceremony, shared his family’s story of law enforcement service and honor. On February 2, 1988, Tommy Griffiths’ older brother, Detective Sherman C. Griffiths (Boston Police Department), was killed in the line-of-duty while executing a no-knock search warrant. His brother Billy, who had joined the Boston Police Department in 1986, was on duty the night Sherman was killed. Several other Griffiths’ brothers have served or currently serve as law enforcement officers.
“Today we are here to begin another journey, to build a Museum that will not only honor officers killed in the line of duty but it will honor all law enforcement officers and recognize the work that we do. This will be a piece of history that future generations will be able to share and enjoy,” said Griffiths
The Griffiths’ family story is part of the proud history of American law enforcement and just one of the many stories of our law enforcement heroes that will be told through the Museum. The event culminated an amazing and history day, moving us one step closer to opening the National Law Enforcement Museum in late 2013.