History buffs and fans of law enforcement should not miss the Texas DPS Historical Museum & Research Center. This museum, which is situated at 5805 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78752, USA, offers visitors a look into the past of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and its part in influencing law enforcement in Texas. What you can view at the Texas DPS History Museum & Research Center is detailed below:
- History of the Texas DPS
The museum offers a thorough examination of the Texas DPS’s history going all the way back to its founding in 1935. The exhibitions highlight the agency’s major milestones and accomplishments, including its part in the capture of infamous criminals like Bonnie and Clyde and the creation of the state’s highway patrol system. Visitors can also learn about the DPS’s initiatives to combat drug trafficking and its participation in efforts to respond to natural disasters.
- Exhibits on Law Enforcement Techniques and Technology
The Texas DPS History Museum & Research Center illustrates how technology and law enforcement methods have changed over time. Some early law enforcement tools like handcuffs and nightsticks are on display, along with more contemporary tools like radar guns and breathalyzers. Visitors can also discover the newest methods and tools the DPS uses to keep Texas’s communities safe.
- Forensics and Crime Scene Investigation
The museum also features exhibits on forensic science and crime scene investigation. Visitors can learn about the different types of evidence used in criminal investigations and the role that forensic scientists play in analyzing that evidence. The exhibits also highlight the history of forensic science, including the development of DNA testing and the use of ballistics analysis in solving crimes.
- Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers have played a prominent role in law enforcement in Texas for over 200 years. The Texas DPS Historical Museum & Research Center offers a tribute to these legendary lawmen through exhibits and displays highlighting their history, accomplishments, and the legends that surround them. Visitors can see authentic Ranger artifacts and learn about the various missions that the Rangers have undertaken over the years. Read more here
- Education Programs
In addition to its exhibits, the Texas DPS Historical Museum & Research Center offers a variety of educational programs for visitors of all ages. These programs include guided tours, workshops on law enforcement techniques and technologies, and interactive exhibits that allow visitors to experience what it’s like to be a Texas DPS trooper. The museum also offers programs specifically designed for school groups, including field trips and educational resources for teachers. Click for more
The Texas DPS Historical Museum & Research Center hosts a variety of events throughout the year. These events include speaker series, book signings, and special exhibits. The museum also participates in community events such as National Night Out, offering visitors the chance to interact with DPS officers and learn more about law enforcement in Texas.
- Research Center
The museum also houses a research center for visitors interested in conducting research on the history of the Texas DPS or law enforcement in Texas. The center offers access to a variety of resources, including historical documents, photographs, and artifacts. Visitors can use the center to conduct research for academic purposes, genealogical research, or personal interest.
- Gift Shop
No museum visit is complete without a stop at the gift shop. The Texas DPS Historical Museum & Research Center offers a gift shop stocked with a variety of law enforcement-related items, including clothing, books, and memorabilia. Visitors can also purchase official Texas DPS merchandise, including patches, challenge coins, and other collectibles.
Collections at the Texas DPS Historical Museum & Research Center
The Texas DPS Historical Museum & Research Center features a variety of collections that highlight the history and development of the Texas Department of Public Safety. The collections are organized into several categories, each with its own unique focus and perspective on the agency’s history.
- Uniforms and Equipment
One of the museum’s most extensive collections is the Uniforms and Equipment exhibit. This exhibit features a variety of artifacts, including vintage uniforms, badges, helmets, and other equipment used by troopers throughout the agency’s history.
The Firearms collection is another significant highlight of the museum’s collection. This exhibit showcases a wide range of firearms used by Texas law enforcement over the years, including pistols, rifles, and shotguns. The exhibit provides visitors with a glimpse into the evolution of law enforcement technology and tactics over the years.
- Archival Documents
The museum’s collection also includes a vast archive of documents, photographs, and other materials related to the history of the Texas DPS. Visitors can explore these archives through interactive displays that offer a glimpse into the agency’s past and its contributions to the state of Texas.
Another highlight of the museum’s collection is its impressive collection of vintage patrol cars, motorcycles, and aircraft used by Texas law enforcement. Visitors can see first-hand the evolution of law enforcement transportation, from classic cruisers to modern helicopters.
Getting to the Texas DPS Historical Museum & Research Center
The Texas DPS Historical Museum & Research Center is located at 5805 N Lamar Blvd in Austin, Texas. There are several options for getting there, including driving, taking public transportation, or using ride-sharing services. If driving, there is ample parking available on-site. The museum is also accessible by public transportation, with several bus routes stopping nearby. Furthermore, ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft are widely available in Austin and can easily transport visitors to the museum. Overall, getting to the Texas DPS Historical Museum & Research Center is convenient and accessible for visitors coming from within Austin or from surrounding areas.
Essential Information About Texas DPS Historical Museum & Research Center
Location: 5805 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78752, United States
Monday to Friday – 8 AM to 5 PM
Saturday to Sunday – Closed