Bangor Police Museum – Bangor, Maine - Atlas Obscura

Bangor Police Museum

This museum explores the history of policing and is also home to a very popular taxidermied duck.  

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The Bangor Police Museum, also known as the Museum of Law Enforcement, in Bangor, Maine focuses on local and regional police history. It also provides a fascinating historical perspective on the history of police work in the United States.

The small museum showcases hundreds of artifacts including badges, batons, cameras, newspaper clippings, and other items, some of which have their origins in the early 18th century. One of the most unique artifacts on display is called the “tramp chair,” a public humiliation device used to punish or deter vagrants from committing crimes. The chair is one of only a few on display in the U.S., another resides at the Smithsonian. Only about 13 of these chairs were created. 

The star of the show, however, is the Duck of Justice. Rescued from a dumpster by Lieutenant Tim Cotton, the taxidermied waterfowl found a home in the museum and quickly became a social media star. Prominently featured on the Bangor Police Department’s Facebook page, the Duck of Justice, or DOJ for short, has developed a substantial following. Visitors from all corners of the country, and as far away as the United Kingdom and Germany have visited the museum to take a picture with the Duck of Justice. 

The Bangor Police Museum serves as a reminder that those who dedicate their lives to protect and serve are also about spreading a little joy. 

Know Before You Go

The Bangor Police Department is free to the public and open by appointment only. The museum may also be accessible without an appointment by stopping by the front desk, just let the receptionist or on-duty officer know you are there to see the duck.