SWAT Team to get a swank new home in former Rampart police station

Rendering of the old Rampart station after renovation. Courtesy L.A. Architecture Awards

Looks like the leaders of the LAPD’s SWAT Team are concerned with style as well as security.  The former Rampart police station in Historic Filipinotown is being converted into the home for the LAPD’s Metropolitan Division, which includes the SWAT Team.  Last week,  the conceptual design for the renovated station  was one of the projects honored during the 2012 L.A. Architecture Awards.

Since the Rampart Division moved to a new station on Sixth Street in 2008, the old station has remained empty, serving as a magnet for taggers, copper thieves and neighborhood complaints about trash and litter.

The LAPD’s plans to turn the former station at Temple Street and Benton Way into the SWAT team headquarters have been challenged by some activists, which have proposed using the facility for other community uses. But the LAPD has shown no sign of backing down.

The design concept created by Perkins & Will, the architecture firm that created the new Rampart Station, would sheath the exterior of the 1966 building in glass and allow more natural light to pour into the interior.  The L.A. Architecture Awards, hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council, hailed the concept:

The design provides a fresh, accessible exterior image and increases cross-platoon collaboration and staff amenities while respecting the original architecture …. The design proposal strategically carves the 1966 concrete bunker to allow diffused sunlight into high-priority areas, and a central slot of light creates an interconnecting central hub in the heart of the building.

The renovation of the station is expected to cost $17.6 million


  1. How ironic that right above a link to a report that LAUSD will eliminate after-school programs for 50,000 students we see another report about the LAPD Swat Team needing an $18 million upgrade.

    Can’t Swat just soldier on with their present facilities until the city comes through its present financial crisis?

    • LAPD is a City of Los Angeles Department. LAUSD is a completely different government agency. The City of Los Angeles and the LAUSD are funded by different taxes. The City of Los Angeles cannot by law fund LAUSD projects.

  2. Metro currently shares facilities with Central division. Metro is a specialized unit very much like former Rampart C.R.A.S.H. with a hyper macho internal culture. Not surprisingly, many of these officers came from C.R.A.S.H. post scandal. Now they will return to their old stomping grounds with an entire fortress that will be closed to the public.
    We have yet to see a public figure who can stand up to LAPD misconduct and since Metro is the go-to division for protest and crowd control, it is unlikely the public will have much ability to reign-in this para-military specialized unit once they are entrenched at old Rampart.

    • Anne,
      I hate that my department still has such a poor reputation with people like you in our community. Metro and SWAT are an integral part of the LAPD, and we work citywide to support the geographic areas when they are tapped for resources. The K9 unit and mounted are also part of Metro. I was an officer in Metro for 6 years, and have been back as a supervisor for 7. My officers work relentlessly to improve our City and ensure it is safe. I live in downtown and feel very connected to all things LA. The Rampart scandal was repugnant on a variety of levels, and is ancient history, in that I do not see that kind of corruption, and honestly never have for the 23 years I have been an officer. I am thankful every night when I send my men and women home safely to their families. They risk their lives for you and all of us, and never look back. Please look forward with us, and respect the hard work we do, and not dwell on the past. It is terribly unfair to paint us all with such a broad brush. Rehabbing Rampart Station and allowing us, and it, to enjoy a new start along with the community can only be a good thing!

      • Hello Metro Sargeant,
        Come to our community.. Hold meetings with us. Work with the community and show us that real and meaningful change has come to stay. Metro Division must answer to Rampart Reconsidered- the blue ribbon panel review of the Rampart scandal which sited problems with Metro Division. You need to also continue to deal with crowd control issues and the internal report from May day 2007. Sharing the building with the community would go a long way in making sure Metro stays in touch with the community.We have been lobbying for the addition of a community room to the design of the new headquarters and a generous sized community park on the property but Thom Brennan has continually refused us. These things are not just for the community but for long term police-civilian relations. Community input must be considered within the design of every new police facility. I appreciate your words. If you back them up with actions that would be deeply meaningful. We are willing to work with you but have been shut out; bad politics on the police front. Feel free to contact me or Eric Garcetti’s office with times and dates you can meet with the neighbors.

      • Hello Sergeant,

        We live off of Alvarado just north of the 101 overpass, and I’m very happy to see that SWAT will be nearby and ready to be deployed both from, and to, areas of frequent crime. I’m of a generation that tends to respect law enforcement and I was born in Los Angeles and have lived here the majority of my long life. In my opinion LAPD needs additional support from the people they protect. They need backup from politicians rather than criticism, and they and we need LAPD to be better-funded. Although I realize that your unit is specialized I wish consideration would be made to having some officers in cars patrolling around our neighborhoods when they are not actively at sites needing SWAT expertise.

        Welcome to our neighborhood.

  3. please stop the hating… the LAPD Swat team deserves a descent facility. As for the now defunct C.R.A.S.H they also saved live of those in the community. As a neighborhood activist we worked with them to get rid of the trash and scum that has made a better quality of life in our neighborhoods… believe me you wouldn’t be living here if they hadn’t cleaned up. It all fun and trendy now but the 80’s where hell in the Rampart and North East division… especial the area of Los Globo’s… no one in there right mind would be out at night… the gangs ruled… and shot first asked questions later good old… N. Vendome St. and Sunset was one of the most dangerous place to be!

  4. Okay, well I moved from Chicago back in 1991 so I want you to know I am a total OG Angelino! The brutal LAPD faction has made my espresso cafe and art gallery a total bummer. I miss the days of having gang members selling drugs and having complete domination over my neighborhood. Those lame jock cops totally ruined it! It was so hip to have my daughter raped in broad daylight while cops raced by with their loud and totally annoying sirens to a multiple homicide drive by shooting. Where we’re they when I needed them?! I called 911 and they werent there? Maybe if you made a really hip and cool “community room” we could tell the police how to their job and get things done right in LA! Wake up LAPD, it’s 2012. We are so connected! Obama!

    • I landed in Rampart in March of 1991… transferred in from Watts… my first day on PMs we were shot at as a car drove by a murder scene we we’re handling…just our unit, no other blk/whts in the area…simply because they were all handling other shooting/murder scenes… made Watts look like Disneyland!

      I totally get your sarcasm, but doubt most other will…since most who tend to sling mud at the LE community are usually outsiders living in a gated communtiy somewhere in brentwood, patrolled by private security…

      I remember when tom hayden showed up to “let us know he was watching”… he was accompanied by a bunch of blue eyed older folks… they chanted and hummed kumbayah…all the while demanding cops go to jail… we found out some came from as far as Santa Barbara… not one was from the community…

      A spanish tv station did a piece on the rafael perez scandal (aka the Rampart CRASH scandal)… they interviewed all, to include gangbangers, not one had anything bad to say…in fact, some of the older men and women pleaded into the tv camera to “bring back our cops”…

      The good people of Rampart Division and a lot of the bad ones as well, knew the real deal about the work we did…

      Thanks for the smile brought on by your sarcasm Emosilvercool

  5. PS: I have a really cool beard and orange sunglasses. It’s called original people! Cops wouldn’t understand….

  6. “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”
    – Dr. Martin Luther King

  7. @annehars – Last night when there was a helicopter over my house, and a thief hiding in my neighborhood I was pretty happy to see Rampart cops on my front lawn. 1997 was what, 15 years ago? Unless you have specifically seen abuse, been a victim of abuse, or have had a loved one abused in the last 15 years, you’d be better served not criticizing the guys that you are going to need to call when someone is breaking down your door.

    @Metrosergeant – Thanks for sending out your crew last night

  8. I have been a commercial r.e. broker specializing in this area just west of downtown since Jan. of 1978. I have lived through all of the times mentioned above. I have seen the changes, and applaud the police officers. It used to be much worse than now. I am however surprised at the cost of the proposed renovation. At the risk of sounding like a “salesman”, I have an amazing site for sale at 1660 Beverly which has parking for 100+ cars and a building of 21000 sq.ft. which up until recently was occupied by the US Postal Service for their annex. The price is $3,475,000 and even with renovations at $100 per sq.ft. that is still only a total of under $6,000,000. The owner just installed a brand new roof and brand new heating and AC. It is next door to a park. Maybe for a whole lot less money the SWAT team could go there and keep the community happy too. Just a thought….. Thanks for listening. Lorna Brittan Bank (love your online newspaper by the way!) Office phone 213-381-3188

    • Ms. Bank,

      Which online newspaper are you referring to, please? If it’s the Eastsider they could use your support via advertising or as a personal subscriber. ? If it’s LAPD, may I please have link?

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