Chief Bratton said the Rampart Division station signals a new period of openness and diversity for the LAPD.
LOS ANGELES --
Chief William Bratton declared Thursday that the Los Angeles Police Department is entering a new period of openness and diversity as he presided over the opening of a new station for Rampart Division, best known for a 1990s corruption scandal. Video
The $37 million, 54,000-square-foot station located at 1401 W. Sixth St. opens at a time when the LAPD is experiencing the quietest summer crime-wise since 1967. The LAPD is also increasing its ranks, with 9,753 sworn officers in uniform and plans to have more than 10,000 on the streets by next summer.
It is a stark contrast to the LAPD's image of a decade ago. In 1999, LAPD Officer Rafael Perez told authorities that he and other rogue Rampart CRASH officers routinely engaged in misconduct that included planting evidence, lying in court and physically abusing suspects.
During that time, Rampart came to symbolize racism, corruption and brutality, Bratton said.
"That was not the Los Angeles Police Department. It is certainly not the Los Angeles Police Department today," Bratton said as he declared 2009 "the year of the LAPD."
"We will be like the sun rising this morning when this department emerges from the dark days of the 1990s into the bright light of the 21st century."
The new facility, will serve 375,000 people in an eight-square-mile area.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the new station, which is about a half-mile from MacArthur Park, also represents a new era for the Westlake neighborhood.
"We celebrate a great community that has reclaimed its neighborhoods and its streets," he said. "Together, we have to continue to work on growing our police department and fighting crime, fighting the root causes of crime, because if you're not dealing with poverty and jobs and education, you really don't understand what we need to do."
In the next year, the LAPD will open two more division stations and its downtown headquarters to replace the aging Parker Center.
The LAPD's new home on First Street, between Main and Spring streets, will be "the most expensive police facility ever built in the United States -- a green facility -- a facility that will also be symbolic of our openness," Bratton said.
Story From: knbc.com