After nearly two decades of planing, fundraising and construction, the National Law Enforcement Museum will open in October in Washington, D.C., officials with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said Wednesday.

The museum, which will sit in Judiciary Square across from the National Law Enforcement Memorial, has been under construction for more than eight years.

Already, the museum will house more than 21,000 artifacts from every era of American law enforcement, and there are plants for interactive exhibits, according to a release from the organization.

“Over the last decade, the National Law Enforcement Museum has worked with dozens of law enforcement experts, historians, academics and community leaders to develop the core of the Museum’s exhibitions and programming to ensure an accurate, unbiased portrayal of American law enforcement,” Executive Director David Brant said in a statement.

The announcement comes in the midst of National Police Week and one day after National Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Congress authorized the project in 2000, but crews did not break ground until 2010. The museum was originally set to open in 2013.

The museum will include exhibits such as “Take the Case,” in which visitors will learn law enforcement techniques and solve simulated crimes, as well as “911 Emergency Ops,” where visitors hear scripted 911 calls and dispatch responders to the scene, according to the release.

The aim, Brant said, is to strengthen relations and bridge the gap between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

“We have built a museum that encourages everyone to learn about, share and even debate every facet of the profession,” he said. “This museum is not just about the men and women of law enforcement, but about the citizens and communities they serve as well.”

Megan Guza | Tribune-Review