Retired Louisville officer sharing his collected artifacts for c - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Retired Louisville officer sharing his collected artifacts for city's new Louisville Public Safety Museum

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Retired Capt. Mort Childress Retired Capt. Mort Childress

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Retired Capt. Mort Childress has collected thousands throughout the years. 

At the age of 93, Childress still remembers the day he became an officer in Louisville -- Oct. 11, 1948. A short time later, he started collecting the pictures and artifacts. 

"Well it's history," he said. "And in school, my best grade was history. So I guess I just like history."

Items like old police horns, radar guns and badges are now being donated to the new Louisville Metropolitan Public Safety Museum. 

"I've got information back to 1806 when the first police were hired," Childress said. "Well, they didn't call them police at that time. They called them watchmen. 

The location of the museum, still under construction, will be in the Convention Center off Second Street between Jefferson and Market Streets.

"The museum is designed to serve as an educational facility," said LMPD Officer Johnny Burgraff. "We want to gather all that history that he has to tell us about and document it and keep it for future generations to see."

Childress also kept records of how discrimination against women and African Americans within the department changed throughout the years. 

"Black officers couldn't ride with white officers when I first came on the force, and I thought that was awful," he said.

Today's officers call him a legend, working until he was forced to retire at the age of 70. 

"If they would have let me, I would have stayed on," Childress said.

But he still kept on collecting, which will be an invaluable gift of history for years to come.

The museum is expected to open in late-August or early-September.

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