No Plans in Sight to Open Empty Harbor Division Jail
LAPD Harbor Community Police Station (photo: LAPD Harbor Community Police Station Facebook)
Plans to open the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Harbor Division jail remain elusive as officials grapple with no dedicated resources to open the facility, which has remained unused since its completion in April 2009.
The jail, which has a 300-inmate capacity, was built in conjunction with the Harbor Division’s $40 million police station with funds from Proposition Q, a $600 million general-obligation bond approved in 2002. The jail was intended to relieve officers from an estimated 30-minute commute in each direction to the 77th Street Regional Jail in Los Angeles where suspects are transported, but no budget was allocated to support operating the jail full-time.
According to a spokesman for City Councilman Joe Buscaino, the jail remains a top priority for the councilman who recently discussed the jail with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. However, there are no pending plans to open the jail, which would require about 20 full-time officers to staff, he said.
“The councilman looked into what it would take [to open the jail], how much manpower was needed, and options like keeping it open part-time,” the spokesperson said.
LAPD did not return multiple calls for comment on the Harbor Division Jail.
As a former Senior Lead Officer in the Harbor Area for six years, Buscaino “totally understands the value” of the jail being open and the community’s public safety concerns, said the spokesperson. He noted that in 2013, there were 5,000 arrests made in the Harbor Area, with the suspects transported to the 77th Street jail, which equates to about 5,000 hours keeping police officers away from their beat.
“This is in the police chief’s hands,” the spokesperson said. “The councilman has spoken to the chief about the jail and has been lobbying to put resources toward that jail since his first day in office.”