Oral History Interviews in Arizona

Retired Phoenix (AZ) police officer Cecelia Chavez interviews with the National Law Enforcement Museum

Last month the National Law Enforcement Museum conducted oral history filming in Phoenix, Arizona. Staff scheduled in-depth interviews with two retired Phoenix (AZ) Police Department officers for the museum’s archives. The first was with Cecelia Chavez, the first female officer to join the department in 1969. The second interview was with Carroll Cooley, who arrested Ernesto Miranda in 1963. The arrest led to the landmark court case Miranda v Arizona deciding that law enforcement must instruct suspects in custody of their right to remain silent and seek an attorney.

In 1969, the Phoenix (AZ) Police Department issued Officer Chavez this policewoman’s purse.
National Law Enforcement Museum, 2011.41.1

While in Phoenix, the museum invited sworn law enforcement in the surrounding area to be filmed for possible inclusion in the forthcoming exhibit, Officers Stories. This exhibit will introduce the general public to the diverse experiences of American law enforcement in officers’ own words. The stories will vary from serious and poignant to humorous and unexpected. Come see Officers Stories at the National Law Enforcement Museum when it opens next year!