Established in 1874, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department has for 138 years protected our citizens while keeping abreast of changes in criminology, transportation, technology, and society.
The KCPD's colorful past is explored in the exhibit Kansas City's Finest on display through June 30, 2013, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10ths St.
The exhibit -- featuring materials from the Kansas City Police Historical Society now available to researchers in the Library's Missouri Valley Special Collections -- covers many aspects of the department's history.
Examined is the evolution of police communications technology (from a call box system to radios dispatchers and patrol car computers), outreach and public relations (the Police Circus, Happy the Safety Clown, Neighborhood Watch, and modern social media like Facebook and Twitter), and the roles of minorities and women.
So, too, is the force's past, from its earliest efforts through the "crime busters" era, the controversial Pendergast years, and the major events - the 1968 riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King, the skywalk collapse of the Hyatt Regency -- that have marked the KCPD's history.
Admission is free. Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.