With a blast of streamers and confetti shaped like police badges, the LAPD today celebrated the grand-reopening of the police academy in Elysian Park after an extensive renovation and the construction of new facilities.
The project includes a new, $18.7 million training facility on the academy grounds. In addition, the existing structures, firing ranges and other facilities were subject to a $16 million renovation that brought the buildings up to modern standards while retaining their historic style.
Not everything is done. The Los Angeles Police Revolver & Athletic Club Cafe , where cadets as well as the public dined under displays of old badges and battons, remains closed until final permits are issued, said one LAPD official. While the diner’s kitchen and equipment have been replaced with modern versions, the cafe will eventually reopen with its retro-style booths, counters and tables intact, he said.
The renovation had been in the works for decades and was complicated by disputes between the city and the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club over ownership and control of the property, which occupies 21 acres in a a canyon on the 1800 block of Academy Road.
The academy, according to an LAPD history, began in the 1920s when the police athletic club opened a pistol range on the site:
“This range was to play a pivotal part in future training for the Los Angeles Police Department. That future began in earnest when, during the 1932 World Games, the Olympic Committee obtained permission to use the range for the pistol and rifle competition. When the games were over, the Department was given the dormitory building. The structure, which had been used at the Olympic Village in Baldwin Hills, was dismantled and transported to the Elysian Park site by off-duty officers, and then reassembled for use as a clubhouse. Later it became the basis for the present Academy restaurant and cafe.
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