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Founder of Greater Cincinnati Police Museum dead at 72

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Posted at 5:44 PM, Aug 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-15 18:41:48-04

CINCINNATI — Officers in Cincinnati and beyond are mourning the loss of veteran officer Richard Gross, a former Cincinnati Police specialist who spent much of his life serving the city in which he was born.

Gross, known to his friends and family as Dic, started the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum roughly 10 years ago.

The Withrow High School graduate attended the University of Cincinnati as a history major, and never lost his love for preserving and celebrating the past, according to Bill Beuke, director of the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.

Gross passed away Thursday morning after a battle with melanoma, at the age of 72.

"He could tell you in detail about every item in the museum," said Beuke. "He had an eye for how things should look, the placement of it, how it related."

Though he didn't retire from police work until 2012, he worked tirelessly on the police museum to ensure Cincinnatians had a space to visit and learn about the history of law enforcement in their city.

Gross created the museum to honor officers and to display historical law enforcement items, like uniforms and unique artifacts that could give visitors a glimpse into history. He was the museum's first president in 1999, and poured his heart into the establishment and the people around him.

"How he treated the individual really surpassed anyone I know," Beuke said.

Before founding the museum, Gross was a Specialist with the Cincinnati Police Department, but he became known colloquially as "Detective Gross", or as, more simply, the "pawn guy." According to his obituary on the police museum's website, Gross became known for his expertise at finding and securing personal items that had been stolen and sold to pawn shops throughout Cincinnati.