Edmonds’ 100-year police history focus of new exhibit

  • Tue Jul 24th, 2012 7:36pm
  • News

By Rikki King Herald Writer

EDMONDS — The Edmonds Police Department turns 100 in October.

To celebrate, people are invited to come check out a century of police memorabilia and history at an exhibit opening Saturday at the Edmonds Historical Museum.

The exhibit, “Stick ‘Em Up!,” is scheduled to run through Nov. 4. Additional centennial events are planned later this year.

The idea of the community exhibit started more than a year ago when former assistant police chief Gerry Gannon and museum director Tarin Erickson crossed paths at a local historical lecture.

Gannon was readying for his retirement in June. As he looked back on his own career, he became curious about the police department’s origins, too.

A little digging turned up city ordinance No. 254. Dated Oct. 16, 1912, the ordinance established Edmonds’ municipal police force.

Gannon realized the 100th anniversary wasn’t so far away.

Edmonds police and museum staff started collecting police photos, equipment, documents and insignia. They dug through archives and storage areas.

They also reached out to family and friends of past officers and chiefs. In doing so, they heard all sorts of stories — and some legends — about the hijinks of Edmonds bad guys, teenagers and police officers alike.

They also found plenty of cool stuff, including a cracked blue suitcase holding one of the city’s first radar guns and a handwritten log of violations, starting in spring 1964.

Some of the streets listed don’t exist anymore, Gannon said.

They also found bills for food and medical care for people locked up in the old city jail.

Much of what they found became part of the exhibit.

The jail, like the police station and City Hall, used to be housed in the Andrew Carnegie Library building now occupied by the museum.

Part of the museum still has the solid steel floors from the jail cells. Bits of the walls show scrawlings from people who were locked inside.

“It’s kind of a neat history of this building,” Erickson said.

Museum staff always are looking for exhibit ideas centered around Edmonds people and events, she said. The police centennial seemed like a fun way to look at Edmonds’ history through the eyes of one city department.

“We were super excited to do this exhibit,” she said. “It celebrates both our histories in a good way.”

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com

Stick ‘Em Up!

“Stick ‘Em Up! Celebrating 100 years of the Edmonds Police Department” opens Saturday at the Edmonds Historical Museum, 118 Fifth Ave. N.

A kickoff event with refreshments is planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Summer Market Saturdays, and from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.

Suggested donations are $2 per child and $5 per adult.

More info: historicedmonds.org.

As part of the centennial celebration, Edmonds police plan an open house from noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 16 at the police station, 250 Fifth Ave. N.

Officers also are raising money for a centennial mural inside the station. Edmonds police collectibles are available for purchase there during normal business hours. The mural is expected to be completed in time for the open house.