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State historians on Friday launched an effort to collect law enforcement memorabilia Utahns might have stored away.

"It's important to save our law enforcement history because it's something being lost every second," said Melissa Coy Ferguson, the manuscripts curator with the Utah State Historical Society.

She said many law enforcement journals, booking documents or other old items of interest are often tossed because people or agencies don't know what else to do with them. Some are tucked away in attics or garages.

"A lot of times families don't understand what they have," Ferguson said.

Any items donated will be stored and protected for future generations, Ferguson said. Everything will be available to the public upon request to study or look at in the state archives.

The Salt Lake City police and fire departments are also looking for any historical items involving people who served in either agency so they can be displayed in a museum to be housed in the new Public Safety Buliding slated to open in 2013.

"It's hard to part with your family's memorabilia," said Lt. Mike Ross, noting that they hope people will help out so everyone can enjoy the items.

Those with donations are asked to call the Salt Lake City police at 801-799-3000 and ask for Ross.

Anyone with any other items to donate to the state is asked to call Ferguson at 801-533-3550.