Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Police Station for Northeast L.A.

The Los Angeles City Council today approved a new police station for the LAPD Northeast Division. The new station will be located on the site of the current station on San Fernando Road in Glassell Park.

Construction of the new facility will cost $29.45 million of which $28.45 million will come from Proposition Q bond money. Proposition Q was approved by voters in 2002 to fund the building and renovation of public safety facilities.

The Police Department acquired the current station building in the early 1980s. It has never been adequate. It wasn’t designed for police purposes. It was supposed to be temporary, and was never intended to serve for 30 years. It does not have sufficient parking for the officers. It has potential health issues. Trace amounts of chemicals, apparently from the building’s previous use as a photo processing facility, have been found. And on top of everything else, the building smells bad.

“It is time for us to do well for our police officers, as well as for the residents of Northeast L.A.,” said Council President Eric Garcetti, who represents the district where the station is located.

Garcetti attributed the existence of bond money for construction in Northeast Los Angeles to the fact that the fund has been well managed. Previous projects have come in on time and under budget.

Ramon Soto, representing the City Administrative Officer, told the Council that the plan is to build a 45,000 square-foot facility on the western side of the existing property. The current station will continue to serve until the new facility is ready for operation.

Normally, a new police facility would include a transport facility and a parking structure, but those additions would drive costs up considerably. According to Soto, the LAPD has indicated a willingness to wait until funds can be located for those additions.

After the new building is finished and occupied, the old building can be torn down, and that space can be paved to create some new room for parking.

It will be the responsibility of the City’s Building and Safety Department to see that a full environmental assessment is done on the site.

Groundbreaking is expected to take place next summer.

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