Retired Louisville officer who donated police artifacts to museu - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Retired Louisville officer who donated police artifacts to museum dies at 93

Mort Childress Mort Childress

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A retired Louisville officer who donated police artifacts to the city's new Louisville Public Safety Museum has died.

Retired Captain Mort Childress passed away Tuesday at the age of 93.

Back in February, WDRB sat down with Childress to see some of the artifacts he was donating to the museum -- like old radar guns and badges.

Childress still remembered 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, back in February. "And in school, my best grade was history. So I guess I just like history."

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

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.

The museum is still being built, but will be inside the Convention Center off Second Street between Jefferson and Market.

"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 was 93.

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