Honoring Those Who’ve Served

The Cleveland Police Museum • 1300 Ontario Street • Cleveland, Ohio 44113 • 216.623.5055

We are open to the public on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 am – 2 pm.
Tours are also available by appointment.

We're closed through the end of February

Please check back for an announcement about our re-opening.

Support Our Fallen Officers Exhibit!

We're honoring the memories of CPD Officers who've made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. You're invited to join us by pledging your support.

An impressive array of facts, stories, and artifacts.


Our convenient traveling box featuring unique artifacts, documents, and photos.

Museum in a Box


Our Speakers Bureau offers presentations on topics related to the history of the CPD.

Speakers Bureau


Apparel, Accessories, Books, and More!

Cop Shop

Our Collections

Our Museum covers the entire history of the Cleveland Police Department, from its beginnings in the mid-1800s to modern day. From Eliot Ness to the gruesome Torso Murders, we have plenty of interesting displays. To get a peek, click to enter below.

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The Forensics class from Hawken Middle School explored our museum today. Our wonderful guide Pat Reynolds worked in the CPD Forensics Unit for fourteen years and shared some of his experiences with them, as well. ... See MoreSee Less

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Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus Fire

While local papers were filled daily with news of the war, life at home in Cleveland was hardly uneventful during this time. On August 4, 1942, the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus was in town. Its tents were located on the north side of Lakeside Avenue at East Ninth Street. Shortly before noon that day, a fire of undetermined origin began in a tent housing animals. The standard practice then was to waterproof large canvas tents with a mixture of kerosene and benzene. This may have kept rainwater out, but it was an invitation to disaster in the event of a fire. A disaster is exactly what resulted. By the time it was over, more than 60 circus animals were dead or critically burned, despite the best efforts of Cleveland firefighters and Cleveland Police mounted officer Tony Welling and his steed Skippy , who did everything they could to prevent further injury or death to these unfortunate animals.

Skippy was a Morgan horse who served with the Cleveland Division of Police in the late 1930s and early 1940s. His rider was Patrolman Anthony E. Welling # 687 (Appointed 08/10/1934; Retired 09/23/1972; End of Watch 03/26/1991). Skippy saved 20 circus horses during the fire by dodging flames so Officer Welling could grasp the peg rope of the lead mare and lead them to safety. Skippy’s story can be found in Marguerite Henry's “Album of Horses

Some of the elephants and camels were burned so badly there was no hope of their survival. They were shot by Cleveland police officers to end their suffering. This was a grim day for those who witnessed it, but remarkably, no human lives were lost. (2002 Cleveland Police Commemorative Album)
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1 month ago

Cleveland Police Museum

Lloyd Patterson was born to Ambrose and Willa Boyd Patterson on 02/02/1931 in Cleveland. After graduating from high school, he entered the US Army, became a marksman and achieved the rank of Sergeant. He became a Cleveland Police Officer on 09/16/1957 and was assigned Badge Number 1554. He served in the Fifth District, was promoted to Detective and worked in the Robbery Unit, Homicide Unit and Scientific Investigation Unit. He was promoted to Sergeant, then Lieutenant and was appointed Deputy Chief on 04/27/1982. Chief Patterson was a graduate of the FBI National Academy, a certified Expert Polygraph Examiner, a sharp shooter, and was an instructor at the Case Western Reserve Law Medicine Center. He was very active in the Cleveland Black Shield Police Association and was a cofounder of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

Chief Patterson was an original incorporator of the Cleveland Police Historical Society and actively supported the Cleveland Police Museum even after retiring to Las Vegas in 1983. He showered the Museum with raffle prizes for the annual golf outing each year. In Nevada he raised appaloosas on his ranch and spent his free time visiting auctions and garage sales.

On August 18, 2009, retired Deputy Chief Lloyd Patterson passed away from complications of heart disease in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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The Cleveland Police Historical Society and Museum exists to collect and preserve police history and to use its collection and programs to educate the public and foster mutual understanding and respect between law enforcement and the public.

Cleveland Police Historical Society

1300 Ontario Street
Cleveland, OH 44113
Phone: 216.623.5055


Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 am – 2 pm.
Tours are also available by appointment; use our contact form for your request.
Admission is always free
If the Cleveland Municipal School District is closed due to inclement weather, the Museum will be closed as well.

All material on this site is © Cleveland Police Historical Society