LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – The former headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department – known as Parker Center – closed for the last time Tuesday, ending a rather infamous and colorful chapter in the history of the department.
“It is the history of the ghosts and the glory of Parker Center that have made us what we are,” Chief Charlie Beck said about Parker Center’s final day of service.
The LAPD’s Police Administration Building opened in 1954 and was renamed Parker Center after then-Police Chief William H. Parker died on July 16, 1966 of a heart attack. The building has long represented the department and has been featured in countless TV shows and movies about the LAPD, including “Dragnet,” “Hunter” and, most recently, “The Closer.”
The well-recognized building also saw a number of infamous criminals walk through its halls.
“Sirhan Sirhan. The Hillside Strangler,” Beck said. “Charles Manson, booked at this facility.”
According to the LAPD’s “History of Parker Center,” an estimated 8,000 people toured the structure in 1955, when it was brand new.
“The hours spent conducting the tours had proved to be a sound investment. It brought a closer relationship between the public and their police,” according to the LAPD.
But since the building’s grand opening, both the department and the public’s needs have changed.
“This is a very inward building. It has a reflective façade that doesn’t allow you to see inside of it,” Beck said. “It’s all buttressed around the outside so there’s no public access.”
The new building, with its glass walls that allows Los Angeles police workers to see citizens riding by on buses and going about their lives, represents the modern, more transparent LAPD, Beck said.