When the Los Angeles Police Department moves into its new headquarters on First Street later this year, it will likely be named after a giant in the city's history, but who that figure will be remained unknown Wednesday.
The Los Angeles City Council was unable to find consensus for retaining the old name of Parker Center. The current police administration building on Los Angeles Street is named in honor of William Parker, the department's chief from 1950 until his death in 1966. He remains the longest-serving head of the department.
Proposals to name the building after Parker, former Mayor Tom Bradley or LAPD officers who died in the line of duty were sent back to committee after a wide-ranging debate on important figures in the city's history and the bureaucratic process of naming and renaming municipal facilities.
City Councilman Bernard Parks, a former chief, introduced the motion to name the new $437 million-building on First Street after Parker. Parks' motion is unanimously opposed by members of the Police Commission -- a five-member civilian panel that oversees the police department -- who said Parker's legacy reminds Angelenos of a time when the LAPD unfairly targeted minorities.
"We are concerned that naming the new building Parker Center would be insensitive to communities of color and undermine the impressive progress that the department has made over the years to improve community police relations," Commission President Anthony Pacheco wrote in a letter to the city council.
Councilman Richard Alarcon plans to introduce an amendment to name the new headquarters in honor Bradley, an LAPD lieutenant before entering politics.
"The naming of the new police administration building as the Tom Bradley Center honors all that Mayor Bradley stood for and brought to Los Angeles, and will stand as a reminder of our commitment to his ideals of justice, diversity and hope for generations to come," Alarcon said.
Many in law enforcement credit Parker with transforming the Los Angeles Police Department into a renown institution by professionalizing the organization and using his military training as a model for policing.
Parker led narcotics and civil rights enforcement, instituted strict discipline, eliminated unnecessary spending and streamlined the entire department, according to the LAPD.