Newport News, Virginia: Police Memorabilia, Officer Bear

An outreach center with a collection of crime-fighting artifacts, and a robot bear.

Newport News Police Department Community Outreach Center

Address:
10188 Warwick Blvd, Newport News, VA
Directions:
Newport News Police Department Community Outreach Center. On the east side of US Hwy 60/Warwick Blvd, at the intersection of Raleigh Rd, about a mile north of the Hwy 32 bridge.
Hours:
Call first. (Virus outbreak may affect access to attraction. Call to verify.)
Phone:
757-597-2847
Admission:
Free
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Police Memorabilia, Officer Bear

I got a full demonstration of Officer Bear! Not only does his head move by remote control, but he can also pedal and steer his tricycle, which has a flashing light and a siren (Some of the locals are convinced that he is also equipped with radar). I also got a lengthy guided tour of the museum. One nice thing to discover: they have my Roadside America tip from 2007 printed and framed in their office. Bring them some coffee and donuts. In the area: the Blue Star Diner is closed, but Monty's Penguin is still doing good business (good burgers, soft-serve ice cream, and a giant neon penguin sign). Officer Bear is just a few blocks from the Virginia War Museum (and Atomic Cannon), a Muffler Man, historic Hilton Village, the Mariner's Museum (with the turret of the USS Monitor), and about a half-hour from the World's Oldest Cured Ham.

[William Shaver Zaza, 05/21/2012]
Police Memorabilia, Officer Bear

This is basically a collection of police memorabilia, mostly relating to Newport News and what used to be Warwick County, Virginia. They have some good old photographs, uniforms, nightsticks, a memorial to fallen NNPD officers, badges, patches, etc., plus free gun locks, some stickers and toy badges for the kids, and lots of pamphlets on safety, gangs, drugs, and the N.N. citizen's academy. They also have some interesting small displays on dangerous narcotics, a picture of Dan Quayle astride a police Harley, and some weapons confiscated from criminals. They plan to expand their museum and meeting facilities in the near future.

Unfortunately I missed the best part: Officer Bear, a remote-controlled teddy bear in a NNPD uniform who sits on a tricycle outside the center and watches traffic--his head swivels by remote control to watch passing cars. Sadly, when I was there his head had been removed for repairs.

The center is located in "Historic Hilton Village," the first government housing for war workers in the country. Hilton Village is in the style of English country houses and was, I believe, built for shipyard workers at the end of World War I. It now house a bunch of yuppified shops and restaurants.

For non-yuppified food near the police outreach center check out Monty's Penguin (diner style food and soft ice cream, with a huge neon penguin sign) and the Blue Star diner (classic Art-Deco diner), both about two blocks to the east.

[Willie Zaza, 07/19/2007]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Virginia War Museum - Atomic CannonVirginia War Museum - Atomic Cannon, Newport News, VA - < 1 mi.
Auto Muffler KingAuto Muffler King, Newport News, VA - 2 mi.
USS Monitor Relics, ReplicaUSS Monitor Relics, Replica, Newport News, VA - 2 mi.
In the region:
Giant Propeller From SS United States, Newport News, VA - 3 mi.

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