Includes high tech video link to "gray bar hotel" (which continues in old LBPD building)
(June 20, 2002) -- Showing tangible results for an agreement negotiated with Edison some years ago by City Manager Henry Taboada, an impressive LBPD temporary HQ and South Division facility has opened at 100 N. Long Beach Blvd. The police facility at "City Hall East," a former Edison office building, will operate for the next three years while LB's Public Safety Building at 400 W. Broadway is repaired, remodeled and upgraded.
The metamorphosis of Edison's building from offices housing utility bureaucrats into a secured, professional police facility is stunning. Some years ago, when City Manager Taboada first announced taxpayers would acquire Edison's building as part of a negotiated franchise agreement, some questioned whether it could be successfully used as a police facility. The results speak for themselves.
Neither palatial nor spartan, the facility is functional and utilitarian, marked by sleek workspaces and conducive to efficiency. It is a major improvement over user unfriendly and increasingly ramshackle conditions plaguing 400 W. Broadway (which will undergo major reconstructive surgery.)
Mayor Beverly O'Neill, City Manager Henry Taboada and LBPD Chief Jerome Lance all attended and spoke at a June 20 event public unveiling the facility and noting its improvements and high tech enhancements. They vowed to emulate the improvements in the major three-year retrofit and upgrade being undertaken at the 400 W. Broadway.
City Manager Taboada said:
Among the enhancements is a video link easily accessible on the first (ground) floor, permitting two way audio and video contact between jail inmates (LB's "gray bar hotel" is still at the 400 W. Broadway facility) and their visitors (at the 100 N. Long Beach Blvd. facility). [Video camera picks up LBReport.com photographer Eagle Eye Pearl taking digital photo on closest monitor]. Chief Lance said the first floor video hookup remedied security headaches surrounding visits at the old facility.
The adjacent photo shows just part of the new records room; each file represents a LB arrest...and the files you see are just for the past (roughly) five years. Older files are on microfilm (one of several microfilm carousels visible in right of photo).
Chief Lance acknowledged that parking at the new facility is a problem but he said the department is in the process of working to solve that. The new facility has been open for only about two weeks.
Along with an array of LBPD brass, those present at today's event included 1st district Councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal (photo left). Also spotted were Council office staffers John McNaughton (4th dist.) and Tom Poe and Tim Patton (5th dist.).