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Dave blows the whistle for full-time; Crime Files has delved into the archives of the West Midlands Police Museum which has a collection of equipment, photographs and stories charting the development of the police. This week we look at the career of Dave Cross, who has stepped down as the curator of the West Midlands Prison Museum. FROM THE ARCHIVES.

Byline: Justine Halifax

AFTER 15 years as curator of West Midlands Police Museum and more than half a century with the force, Dave Cross has hung up his hat. Mr Cross, who retired just days after celebrating his 67th birthday, was just 15 years old when he joined Birmingham City Police as a special at Stechford in 1961.

Four years later he became a regular force and as a 19-year-old Pc was posted to Bradford Street Police Station. But 15 years ago, when West Midlands Police Museum moved from Tally Ho to just behind Sparkhill Police Station, he took on the role of keeper of the museum, which has a collection of interesting artefacts and photographs charting the development of the police across the ages and life and crime fighting in Birmingham. And Mr Cross has worked closely with the Birmingham Mail to help put together its museum Crime Files pages for many months and we would like to thank him for his help and support and wish him well in his retirement. West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Gary Cann said: "Those who know Dave describe him as a larger than life character, a true Brummie and the epitome of the affable, knowledgeable and helpful British bobby.

"He has helped countless people from home and abroad with genealogy enquiries and uncovered many interesting facts about relatives of those who served with Birmingham City Police - some of which were too sensitive to disclose." ACC Cann added: "We are immensely grateful to Dave for his enthusiasm and the dedication he has shown throughout his service and we wish him a long and happy retirement." Mr Cross told Crime Files: "Like anything else to do with research it's just a great voyage of discovery. "For 15 years I have had a wonderful voyage of discovery at West Midlands Police Museum from starting it up at its new location at Sparkhill Police Station to the current day which has revealed new and fascinating facts about policing in Birmingham and the West Midlands." It is not yet known who will follow in his footsteps as the museum curator.

CAPTION(S):

Larger than life: ACC Gary Cann has paid tribute to Dave (left). Long service: Outgoing museum curator Dave Cross.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 5, 2011
Words:375
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