Cleveland Police Historical Society, Inc. & Museum

Cleveland Police Historical Society, Inc. & Museum

Cleveland Police Historical Society, Inc. & Museum
3.5

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles22 reviews
Excellent
5
Very good
10
Average
2
Poor
4
Terrible
1

Joseph
Sanibel Island, FL425 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Family
For anyone interested in history, just seeing the historic photos makes it well worth the time to visit. Putting people first, to serve and protect, is what these courageous officers do every day, mile after mile.
Written August 6, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Barbara R
Erie, PA940 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Couples
We were staying at a nearby hotel so decided to go through this museum. Although not a large museum, it was very interesting with a lot of exhibits, pictures etc. there was an actual jail cell that one could step into, sit down on the bed and have your picture taken! Also, there was a small gift shop which was quite quaint. Whatever you do, if you go there, everyone is scanned and pocket knives are not allowed! My husband hid his outside of the building!
Written April 25, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dcareviewer
maidenhead188 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Friends
This is a very interesting museum, and entry is free. There are lots of very interesting exhibits, and as we were the only visitors at the time we had the benefit of a curator (a retired police officer) telling us lots of interesting facts behind the exhibits.
Written April 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

busitrav33
Phoenix, AZ77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2014 • Business
When I found out this museum was in Cleveland, I was there. I didn't care what I had to go through to get there, mostly for one reason--I'm a true crime buff, and I have read everything there is to read about the Cleveland Torso Murders. I had heard that there was a display there of the death masks of some of the victims. I also wanted to go because I had been to a police museum in Miami, Florida, and it had some really moving and interesting content about law enforcement in that city which has kindled an interest in police museums for me.

This museum did not disappoint. First, let me say that parking is an issue because it's in the Justice Center and it doesn't seem to have a parking garage of its own. Having said that, we parked right across the street in the stadium parking which was about eight bucks. If you don't go on a game day, parking is actually a snap. That is, if you're willing to pay for it! Also, because it's in the Justice Center, fair warning, you have to go through security to get in and that means metal detectors, so leave unneccessary items out in the car. And, you have to go past the visiting area for jail inmates, so there are some colorful characters about.

The museum itself is in the very back of the building but if you ask any of the staff they will direct you. We had no problem finding it. It is on the ground floor. The Torso Murders display had the masks I was looking for and also had a lot of crime scene photos, some of which I had never seen anywhere, so that was fabulous. However, those same photos are mounted on a wall and they are very graphic (this was a dismemberment case), so I will agree that this is not a museum for small children period unless you are careful to shepherd them away from that exhibit (it's right next to a jail cell that's open for display, FYI).

We were personally escorted around by a retired police sergeant who was very friendly and entertaining. He led us through and highlighted some of the exhibits and told us some very interesting stories about some of the displays that we otherwise would not have known. We really appreciated his hospitality and kindness.

There are some fascinating displays on the history of police work in this museum and I felt like it captured the history of the average police officer over time in a way that most police museums don't. There is an especially fascinating display right inside the door of the places the police officers lived back when they worked a "beat" in nineteenth century Cleveland. Really good stuff.

And, of course, there's content on Eliot Ness, who finished out his law enforcement career in Cleveland.

There's also a large display on organized crime in Cleveland and a display regarding the race riots in Cleveland which claimed many lives. That display was really well done. Also there were displays of weapons throughout history on both sides--service weapons used by police, and weapons confiscated off of criminals.

I enjoyed it thoroughly and could have spent far more time in there than I did, but we got there towards the end of the day. Make sure you know what the hours of operation are before you go and give yourself plenty of time. FYI, there is a really nice coffee stand in the building not far from the museum so if you need a refreshing beverage, it's nearby, but it closes before the museum does, so get your tasty coffee first!

Okay, I've rambled on here. Let me summarize:

Pros:
--Must see content display regarding the Cleveland Torso Murders, aka the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run, one of the last cases of Eliot Ness's career, still unsolved
--Fascinating information about the history of the work of police officers, which of itself is really nice to see because so often focus is on detectives and crime detection, not on your police officers that are out on the street.
--Helpful and informative staff
--Gift shop is pricey but the content is interesting and fun
--Believe it or not, the bathrooms were very clean
--Nice gourmet coffee stand within the Justice Center

Cons:
--The museum is open for limited hours--check the hours before you go
--Parking options are limited
--It's in the Justice Center, so be prepared to see criminals that aren't displayed in the museum :)

Finally, make sure your children are of the appropriate maturity level to see gore. If I were a kid, I would have thought that museum was a hoot. They even let you write on the walls in the jail!
Written April 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tourist-du-jour
Cleveland, OH135 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2015 • Friends
This museum is quite small, but is packed with Cleveland history along with the history of the Cleveland police. It’s interesting to see how criminals and law enforcement have changed over the years. The museum staff was very knowledgeable with plenty of stories to share - including accounts of Eliot Ness.
I hope this museum will expand some day. There’s a small gift shop if you’d like to pick up some postcards, a book, t-shirt or other remembrance of your visit. Also, you’ll go though security in the Justice Center, so to speed up the process, plan on carrying as little metal as possible.
Written May 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelingMan446
Ohio50 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2013 • Solo
The museum itself is pretty small (maybe 1000 sq. ft.). It has some interesting and very diverse displays (everything from weapons used by police and criminals to photos of historic Cleveland precinct buildings to information about the mounted patrol to an actual jail cell).

HOWEVER, the process of getting to and from the museum literally takes nearly as long as you'll spend touring the museum! First of all, you're extremely unlikely to find a parking spot closer than 2 blocks away because all the parking adjacent to the building is reserved for police. Then, you have to pass through a metal detector. Since I didn't know that was going to be the case I ended up having to return to my car to drop off my penknife, otherwise it was going to be confiscated. (They will NOT hold your items and return them to you at the end of the visit.)

Once you get through that security point, you walk for a ways and then have to stand in another line. This time you have to sign in with full name and address and show a matching photo ID! Finally you are allowed to get to the tiny museum! When you are ready to leave you pass by the guard who signed you in, to let him/her know that you're leaving.

None of this is the museum's fault. They used to have their own entrance right off the street but since it shares space in the police headquarters it now has to follow all the security steps needed for visitors to any room in the building. It's unfortunate.

To top it all off, you have to do all your outside walking past a wall plastered with No Smoking signs where smokers are blatantly standing and puffing under each sign. In my case there were 10 smokers, each of which seemed to have chosen a separate sign to stand under. Kind of funny but also pretty disgusting that no one cares enough to do anything (either the smokers or the police to enforce it on their own premises).

So the museum is fine, but the whole atmosphere of trying to view it made it an unpleasant experience.
Written December 14, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

luckydog0_18
Clarksville, Pennsylvania6 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2013 • Family
We tried to go here but ended up driving around for 35 minutes trying to find a place to park. That never happened. so my review is solely on the parking which is terrible.
Written June 27, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

snowbird745
Venice, FL29 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Family
Took 5 grandchildren on an adventure over Christmas break to see the Cleveland Police museum. Located in downtown Cleveland at the Cleveland Police Headquarters on Ontario. Prepared the children as their Great Grandfather was a Cleveland police officer and relatives on the other side were detectives.

Website provided hours opened between 10 and 4. Arrived at 10:30, went through security and found the small area where the museum was located. Guess what! Nobody home! Asked a couple officers and they said it just depends. It was supposed to be open but no reason why it was not.

Call before you go so you don't end up with up with disappointed kids!
Written December 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jane G
Columbus, OH22 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2015 • Family
This small museum is located in the Justice Center, which means you must go through Justice Center security, so be prepared. That means metal detectors, so do not bring pen knives or similar objects. There is parking Downtown, but you have to know where to look. There is cheap parking at 15th & Superior and northward. There is also cheap parking on Prospect between 22nd and 14th Streets. The Muni lot off the Shoreway is $4. Most of the cheap lots are cash only. There are free busses that go up and down Euclid to Public Square and the Warehouse District. There is also one that travels from the Square down Superior to E. 12th to Lakeside and through the Warehouse District. Understanding where the parking is and how to get around will make your visit more pleasant.

The Museum itself is quite interesting with exhibits on the Mob, Elliot Ness & the Torso Murders, the women Cleveland police officers and much more. There is even a jail cell that you can check out. I wouldn't recommend it for young children as it would probably be too scary, but for older kids, middle school and up, it's ok.

So, stop complaining about parking and come Downtown for a visit!
Written January 20, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kmfu
Mentor, OH153 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012
Not interesting for small children. Very small room with some interesting items. Stop by if close by but don't make a special trip.
Written May 9, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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