Southwest Divisional History

History of Southwest Division

Southwest Area, originally known as “University Division”, was established in 1905, with a station built in 1909. The original station existed at 809 West Jefferson Boulevard. The station’s officers patrolled the areas now known as University Park, Jefferson Park, parts of Leimert Park, Crenshaw District and West Adams Community.

In 1962, University Division relocated and reopened at 1546 Santa Barbara Avenue. In 1973, the name was changed to “Southwest Division”, and the street which it was located on was later renamed Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in 1983. This is its current location, and the building is the same one which was built in 1962.

Southwest Area is approximately 12.3 square miles, bordered by the I-10 Freeway on the North, I-110 Freeway on the east, Vernon Avenue on the south, and La Cienega Boulevard on the west. It is a culturally diverse community, with a population over 193,000 people. Southwest Community Police Station is under the jurisdiction of South Bureau. Its 293 sworn personnel and 15 civilian personnel serve the culturally diverse community of over 193,000 people. The region includes the following neighborhoods and communities: Baldwin Village, Baldwin Vista, Crenshaw Community, Jefferson Park, Leimert Park, Crenshaw District, West Adams Community, and University Park.

Southwest Division’s Points of Interest

LA Memorial Coliseum – Completed in 1923 and home to USC home football games. Hosted both the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games. Also served as the home to the Dodgers from 1958 to 1962 and the NFL’s Rams, from 1946 until 1980, then again from 2016 to 2019.

University Park & USC – 1.17 square miles of neighborhood in South Los Angeles and home of the University of Southern California (USC). Robert Maclay Widney, founder of USC, was a judge and a lawyer when he moved to Los Angeles in 1867. In 1879, Widney selected the university’s first board of trustees and secured 308 acres of land. The land was donated by prominent Los Angeles citizens who came from different religious backgrounds but felt strongly about the need for an institution of higher learning in Los Angeles.

Shrine Auditorium – The Shrine Auditorium is a landmark large-event venue and headquarters of the Al Malaikah Temple, a division of the Shriners. It opened in 1926 and seats approximately 6,300 people. It has hosted the Academy Awards, Grammys, and Emmys. It also hosted the USC Trojans basketball team for 33 years.

West Adams District – West Adams is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles, with most of its buildings erected between 1880 and 1925. It was once the wealthiest district in the city, with its Victorian mansions and sturdy Craftsman bungalows, and a home to Downtown businessmen and professors and academicians at USC.

Homer F. Broome – During his career with the Department, Commander Broome worked a variety of assignments. Quietly and diligently he was promoted through the ranks of the Department to become the first African-American Captain of Police in 1969; Captain II in 1971 and Captain III in 1973. As was the case in 1969, Broome made history along the way by becoming the first African-American to be appointed to each of these advanced coveted positions, not only enhancing his personal stature, but enhancing the stature of the Department within the community as well.

On June 3, 1975, Broome made history once again by becoming the first African American to attain the rank of Police Commander in the Los Angeles Police Department. Commander Broome’s accomplishments extended far beyond that of the Department. As a champion for all people, he was instrumental in the establishment of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives also known as NOBLE. NOBLE is a premier law enforcement organization recognized at both the local and national level.

University Division, which was later renamed Southwest Division, was ultimately renamed in his honor, “Homer F. Broome Jr.-Southwest Community Police Station” in 2006.