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History of Parker Center
1947 - 1950: Some progress is being made in the carrying out of the mandate of the electorate in the voting of bonds for police facilities. Rapidly spiraling costs have required a redesign of the new police facilities building to conform to the funds available. The land has been acquired and considerable progress is anticipated during the coming months. The Traffic Bureau is being temporarily housed in a large warehouse at First Street and Central Street.
1951: Plans for the Police Administration Building (PAB) were completed in 1951. The construction is set to take place at First St. and Los Angeles St. and expected to begin in mid-1952. The Traffic Bureau, 20% of Department personnel, and the new Planning and Research Division is presently housed in a large warehouse awaiting completion of PAB.
1952: On December 30, 1952, ground was broken for the new PAB, which is scheduled for completion in late 1954.
This eight-story structure will be situated between Los Angeles St., First St., San Pedro St., and Market Streets. It will be located one block east of City Hall.
The new police structure is expected to revolutionize the design of law enforcement buildings. Its 398,000 square-foot area is laid out on a functional basis, bringing related police activities together on the same floors.
The building will house many police operations now widely scattered in sub-standard structures. One of the immediate effects of the centralization of all police facilities is that we will be able to provide better service to citizens visiting the Department when obtaining information, advice, or assistance. Complete service can be obtained in a single visit under one roof.
The fourth floor will comprise one of the largest crime laboratories in the world. A complete felony jail will house adult male prisoners in proximity to the Detective Bureau, saving many man hours and mileage to and from the Main jail. There will also be an auditorium for "show-ups."
The $6,142,548 total cost is $2,000,000 less than the original budgetary amount. The use of removable partitions, the combining of conference rooms and technical equipment will create a highly utilitarian building with extremely low maintenance costs. Administrative experts expect the new structure, representing the first adequate police headquarters in the city's history, will soon repay it’s cost through increased and improved police service to the public.
1953: During 1953, construction was begun on the new PAB. Scheduled for completion in November 1954, the structure will house police facilities presently scattered over the Civic Center area.
The efficiently designed, eight-story building will include all administrative offices and staff units, central detectives and patrol divisions, and the Traffic Bureau. One floor will be occupied by the nations’ finest crime laboratory. A newly designed police radio and communications network will serve as the city’s nerve center, capable of handling all civil emergencies.
1954: A heartening sight to Los Angeles police officers during 1954 has been the steady progress in the construction of the Department’s long needed Police Administration Building. Eagerly awaited, it is scheduled for completion in mid-1955.
For years, many units of the Department have been confined in obsolete and inadequate quarters throughout downtown Los Angeles. The new building will increase operational efficiency by providing an adequate and integrated police headquarters.
The exterior work on the building is complete. It’s massive glass and stone faзade is a distinctive feature of the city’s growing Civic Center. Interior construction and finish work is now being completed.
Inside and out, PAB is an example of careful planning to obtain maximum value from bond funds voted on by the public. It’s existence should repay its cost many times with better protection for the citizens of Los Angeles.
1955: The most surprising thing about PAB is the interest displayed by individuals and civic groups requesting guided tours. The doors had no sooner opened when it was found necessary to arrange hourly scheduled tours. Even more surprising, the requests continued at such a rate that a full-time policewoman guide was still required. During the last four months of 1955, an estimated 8,000 people toured the new structure.
The hours spent conducting the tours had proved to be a sound investment. It brought a closer relationship between the public and their police.
One of the new structure’s many functions is direct and personalized service to the public. The experienced line officers, which man the Business Office Division, must be able to handle situations ranging from simple street directions to ordering immediate police action necessary to prevent serious crimes. Dictation and typing service in nearby booths, aid citizens wishing to file crime complaints or other official reports.
A large proportion of the problems brought to the information counter require referral to specialized police units quartered elsewhere in the building. In such cases, the officer at the counter makes a brief memo of the request and arranges for the citizens to be interviewed at the proper police division. Cases are sometimes reported, investigated and solved during a single visit to PAB.
1958: The Motor Transport building was constructed. All maintenance required on our police vehicles will be conducted at this facility.
1966: On the night of July 16, 1966, Chief Parker was stricken with a fatal heart attack. Shortly thereafter, the Department's administrative headquarters (PAB) was officially named Parker Center.
1971: The Los Angeles Police Memorial was constructed and completed in front of PAB to honor those officers killed in the line of duty. The Memorial was dedicated on October 1, 1971, by Honorable John Mitchell, Attorney General, US.
1999: The new Communications Division (911 dispatch center) will be built next to PAB. Construction has already been started. The parking lot next to PAB was demolished and construction of the Communications’ building began in June. Our Motor Transport building will remain where it was constructed back in 1958.