The Lakeland Police Department has continued to collect old relics and equipment used in the early days of policing and has added many new items to the museum. This historic display is located on the second floor in the community room of the police station located at 219 North Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL. Identification cards of retired officers along with a few new vintage pictures have been added to the museum including an article featuring the Lakeland Police Department as the best dressed department in the nation in 1981.
There is also a framed presentation on the “Drunk-O-Meter” machine that was the first of its kind requiring suspected drunk drivers to blow into a balloon that was then placed onto a tube on the machine where alcohol content could be determined scientifically. Prior to the use of this device, police officers would take the suspected drunk driver to a nearby doctor who would determine the suspect’s level of intoxication by a variety of observations. The Drunk-O-Meter was replaced by the “Breathalyzer” in the late 1960’s.
The historic display items will be updated and rotated every few months to keep the museum fresh. The Lakeland Police Museum would also like to request donations from the public of any old items they may wish to donate. Old photographs, police equipment, newspaper articles, and other items would be appreciated and will help to preserve history. Please contact Sergeant Gary Gross, Lakeland Museum Curator, at 863.834.6900 if you would like to donate items.
- posted by Sergeant Terri Smith