The Mob Museum, The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement located in downtown Las Vegas, this year launched “Organized Crime Today,” a technology-driven exhibition dedicated to present-day topics. Featuring artifacts as well as fully interactive, 17-foot-long touch screen wall, the exhibition is designed to enable Museum guests to take a dive into the Global Networks of organized crime operating around the world in the 21st century. This exhibition launched in February of 2018, along with three other brand-new permanent exhibitions the award-winning, American Alliance of Museums-accredited institution debuted this year.
While most of the Museum covers the history of organized crime and its battle with law enforcement through decades, Organized Crime Today addresses contemporary iterations of this illegal activity. The Global Networks touchscreen wall elaborates on contemporary crime rackets—illegal enterprises that span the globe and profit off everything from drug and human trafficking to product counterfeiting, money laundering and cybercrime. The exhibit addresses the most prominent organized crime groups active in the world today and explores the complexities of organized crime with up-to-the-minute developments pulled from the day’s headlines.
For example, a recent addition to the Global Networks interactive wall spotlights the wildlife smuggling trade in Cambodia, where customs officials recently confiscated more than three tons of African elephant ivory—the largest cache of the smuggled contraband ever found in the country. Smugglers have been using Cambodia as a transit hub to feed the demand for ivory in China—which banned ivory sales in 2018—and Vietnam, where it is used in carved artwork, chopsticks and jewelry.
In addition, the screen offers the ability for experts around the world to videoconference into the Museum remotely and offer their analysis and insights into organized crime around the world. These programs are included in the price of general admission and offer Museum visitors the opportunity not only to hear from these experts, but also the chance to ask questions.
Museum visitors encounter other technology-enabled, interactive experiences as well. A Use of Force Training experience uses airsoft versions of police-style handguns and responsive video scenarios to demonstrate the training law enforcement officers receive regarding the use of deadly force. Meanwhile, in the Museum’s Crime Lab, visitors can learn about cause of death investigation with the assistance of life-sized, digitally generated subjects viewed on an interactive, touch-screen “autopsy table.”
For more information about the Museum and its Organized Crime Today – Global Networks exhibition, visit https://themobmuseum.org/exhibits/organized-crime-today/