New museum honors history of Tyler Police Department

New museum honors history of Tyler Police Department
A new museum in Tyler celebrates the history of the Tyler Police Department. Items on display include photos, replica patrol cars, uniforms and badges honoring past and present officers. (Arthur Clayborn)

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Tyler Police Department unveiled a new museum that commemorates its history Monday morning.

“These are all artifacts over the decades of the police department. We are able to display them now on permanent display. This isn’t just temporary," said Tyler Police Public Information Officer Don Martin. “This cross belt here which was not worn for a very long time was actually dedicated by the wife of an officer that owned this. He was one of my first training officers in 1981.”

The Tyler Police Department Historical Museum is at the main police station at 711 W. Ferguson.

The museum commemorates past and present officers with displays of badges, uniforms, and equipment dating back to the 1930s.

“A lot of the former officers were able to retire with some of the things they worked with. Badges, caps, and uniforms that were being phased out,” said retired officer and author Charles Steen.

One of the displays contains handmade model cars that are replicas of every vehicle in the department’s history. The cars were built and donated by retired Lt. Col. Chris Weir.

“The 1933 Ford, as far as I know, there is not a picture of it, but it is described in the history book. I took my best estimate of what that car would have looked like," Weir said. “There’s 16 models here today again covering 1933 to the present. Part of it was doing the research with the books. The books was a good starting point. As good as they are, the books don’t cover everything, so I had to learn more about the older cars.”

The museum will also display photos from the past to the present.

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