LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Police Department has been handed the keys to its new headquarters.
Outgoing Chief William J. Bratton dedicated the gleaming 10-story, $437 million downtown structure at a ceremony Saturday attended by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other city and state officials.
Bratton said the glass fascade of the 500,000-square-foot structure represents the new LAPD of the 21st century, an era of transparency for a department once resistant to public scrutiny.
The Police Administration Building replaces Parker Center four blocks away. The 1955 building named for former Chief William H. Parker outlived its service life and is likely to be demolished.
"The new building is so much bigger, nicer and cleaner," LAPD Sgt. Kelly Arnett told the Daily News of Los Angeles.
But she added, "We're going to miss the cockroaches."
A crowd of several hundred people stood after Assistant Chief Sharon K. Papa introduced Bratton, who will hand in his shield next week after a seven-year tenure that has seen declining crime rates.
Bratton said he had mixed emotions about leaving, but it was time for him and his wife to go home to New York. He previously headed the police forces in New York City and Boston.
"As I leave I am very confident that the successes of the past will continue to grow," he said
Voters approved a bond measure for new police facilities in 2002. Construction began on the new headquarters in 2007.
The project also includes two garages and a data center elsewhere downtown.