About Museo Historico Policial
The Museo Historico Policial (Museum of Police History) is located in the historic heart of Bogota, Colombia and is something of a hidden gem. Housed inside the old police headquarters and staffed by mostly by those on National Service, it is well worth spending an afternoon here to absorb some of the difficult history of the police in Colombia.
History of Museo Historico Policial
The beautiful 1920s building was formerly the headquarters of Colombia’s National Police. The police force itself was founded in the late 19th century as a partisan institute to help keep the peace and protect people and property. However, during the Colombian Armed Conflict in the mid/late 20th century, the police came under increased scrutiny for the acceptance of bribes, corruption, collaboration with guerilla groups and abuses of human rights. The 1990s and 2000s saw a drive to completely transform their image. This has been largely successful, and today the police are generally trusted.
Museo Historico Policial today
Many consider the highlights of the museum’s collection to be their Pablo Escobar memorabilia, including his Harley Davidson, a part of his gun collection, and a roof tile splattered with his blood from when he was gunned down in Medellin. The museum has a decent section on the police’s relationship with Escobar, covering his time in Medellin in depth.
Other highlights include the gun collection, exhibitions on the changing uniforms of Colombian police officers, and a large mural in the exterior depicting a wide cross-section of Colombian history and society. Tours are generally run by 18 year olds doing the National Service, and they have some particularly choice anecdotes if you ask nicely: tours are available in Spanish and English.
The museum also hosts concerts semi-regularly: these are well worth attending should you find yourself in the building at the same time. The roof terrace also offers lovely views of the city and Cerro de Monserrate.
Getting to Museo Historico Policial
The museum us centrally located in the historical La Candelaria district: the nearest TransMilenio station is Av Jimenez, otherwise it is easily walkable from other sites in the district, or via taxi.