Inside the American Police

Hall of Fame and Museum: Morbid kitsch and money. Lots of money.

Indeed, in a museum filled with vivid antidrug exhibits and other displays betraying a predilection for capital and corporal punishment, some of the celebrity advisers seem odd choices. A photo of noted ex-heroin junkie Keith Richards hangs on the wall. Martin Sheen, who's always happy to be arrested for a good liberal cause, sends his best wishes. And even though the Police Times berates him for supporting condemned-to-death Philadelphia journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, there's M*A*S*H alum Mike Farrell.

On your way out of the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum, for an extra $1.50 you can pick up the latest issue of Police Times and do a little shopping. Pay $35 for a J. Edgar Hoover Distinguished Service Medal. For $10.50, a "Fellow of the Police Academy Certificate" is yours. A $65 outlay buys a home-study course from the American Police Academy in "Basic Marksmanship with the Modern Handgun." Or pitch in $695 for a weeklong cruise.

Those offerings, and everything else you see around you, compose the legacy of Gerald Arenberg. If he isn't a saint, he has a lot going for him: Saints, after all, have to die, and then usually wait centuries for a shrine. Arenberg has his today. And as long as someone is willing to pay six bucks for a walk-through, he'll never be forgotten.

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