Monday, May 01, 2006

Metro Police Museum, Darfur

On Sunday, I was in downtown, out for a walk near the Metro Police headquarters. They have a police museum there that I had been planning to visit for some time, so I popped in. What I didn't know was, at the exact same time as I entered the place, they were starting a ceremony to honour common citizens who had helped the public and police during the past year. So as soon as I swung through the doors, this huge policeman, decked in complete dress uniform, white gloves and a golden sword at his side, walked to me, smiled a welcome and handed a paper to me.

'Wow, what a fancy museum,' I thought, as I completely sidestepped the neat array of chairs where various people were seated, much to the surprise of that policeman, and made for the exhibits. Only later, when I found out why so many people were seated there, why was the Chief of Police there, why there were cameras for three local TV channels there, did I feel foolish. I could have been on TV!

Anyways, the museum itself, while not big, is pretty interesting. If you are ever in the area, check it out. The most intriguing display were the showcases holding real pieces of evidences from past crimes.

There was an utility belt, used by one man in his disguise in an attempt to infiltrate the apartment of a young woman in order to assault her. They also had the actual tape holding his confession, as to how he planned the whole thing, stalking the apartment complex for days before selecting his victim.

There was an iron, whose utility cord was used to strangle someone to death. There were actual forged cheques, ropes used to hang a murderer, actual bullets fired during a robbery, and so on.

Other interesting display of note were old traffic lights. In olden times, the light used to be stored in a nearby shop, and the lamp had four screens, two red, two green. A police officer used to fetch the lamp in the morning, and stand all day on duty turning the lamp one way or the other (red for stop, green for go). I don't know how people lived back then.

On the way back, I walked past a rally for Darfur. I posted about it here, but I think there are some people who pick a 'protest for the month' and go attend that protest (without understanding what they are protesting). When I was a student, the closest I came to attending a protest was when they considered reducing the hours the computer lab was open - we had to do our assignments man! CS does that to you.

A police car, with working lights and sirens, that YOU can get inside and switch on or off.

Showcasing real pieces of evidence from actual past crimes.

The result of running a red light.

A replica of the original police station (circa 1800s) where the museum now stands.



Aisha said...

the darfur thing. was it a national day for it? they were doing stuff at my campus for it too.

Nabeel said...

pretty cool .. u should check out the spy and the CIA museum .. you'll be amazed at the stuff u can find there .. unfortunately it's not open for the public

Em said...

Please tell me they upgraded the fleet of police cars from that hunkajunk!!

mezba said...

Aisha: I think it was.

Nabeel: thanx, I did get to check out the RCMP stables though, in Ottawa!

Em: Yup, thats circa 1980s I think.