Mark R. Madler
Area businesses are approaching a goal of $100,000 to help fund a
proposed law enforcement museum in the nation's capital.
As of Tuesday, nearly $90,000 had been collected by the city's
business community to be given to the Burbank Police Officers Assn.
for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Museum in
The recognition for police officers who keep streets safe across
the country is long overdue, said Vic Georgino, a fundraising
committee member and former Burbank Police reserve officer.
When he looks back now to when he was a reserve officer in the
early- to mid-1970s, he realizes he could have been hurt at any time,
"It's a serious job," Georgino said of police work. "Especially
today, when things seem to be more dangerous than they were 30 years
Among the donors are Crown Realty & Development, owner of the
Burbank Town Center Mall; Cusumano Real Estate Group; and NBC
The fundraising drive will culminate July 9 with a black-tie event
called "An Evening of Respect" at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.
Burbank's effort will become the model used nationwide for
fundraising for the museum, said Bruce Mendelsohn, spokesman for the
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the nonprofit
organization that already maintains a memorial and will build the
"Civic and law enforcement partnerships are the way to go,"
Mendelsohn said. "We hope these partnerships go a long way to
promoting the museum."
Fund Chairman Craig W. Floyd and other staff members are scheduled
to attend the July 9 event, Mendelsohn said.
The Burbank Police Department was among the first in the nation to
contribute to the memorial, which was dedicated in 1991.
The memorial is inscribed with about 15,000 names of officers
killed in the line of duty. The Burbank department has five officers
listed, including officer Matthew Pavelka, who was killed in the line
of duty in November 2003.
The proposed museum will house photos, plaques and other objects
left by visitors to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on
Judiciary Square in Washington.
The museum will also include interactive displays on police work,
a movie theater, and displays on the evolution of police equipment
and vehicles. As part of an $80-million campaign, departments all
over the country are raising money for the museum.
The Burbank campaign also included an essay contest for elementary
and middle school students in Burbank schools. The winners of the
contest are expected to be announced within two weeks.
The essays and how they portray police officers are just as
important to the campaign as the "Evening of Respect" event, said
Michael Hastings, a member of the fundraising committee.
To make a contribution, send a check payable to BPOA/National
Memorial Fund to 842 Grinnell Drive, Burbank, CA 91501.
More information on the memorial and proposed museum can be found