Metropolis discussed with Leigh Christy, Associate Principal at Perkins+Will, how the design of new LAPD police stations is used to enhance the department shift to community policing.
Part of this shift was initiated by the LA Riots. In that period, the police were had a very antagonistic relationship with their communities. The police were stationed in mid-century bunker like structures meant to protect the officers from the community.
Now there is shift toward inviting the community in to improve transparency and the force’s relationship with the community. The article considers design choices made in 3 new buildings – LAPD Rampart Community Station inMacArthur Park, the LAPD Harbor Community Station in San Pedro and a LAPD Metro station.
The stations feature community rooms and are partially open to the public. Outside, there is green space to provide park space in these park starved parts of the city. Being close the station, these are safe areas where neighborhood children can play.
The interiors are designed to enhance the collaborative and transitory nature of police work today. There are lots of open collaborate spaces and focus on integrating access to data that has increasingly become an important part of modern police work. The interior spaces also use the concept of ‘hoteling,’ which utilizes open work stations for officers to work at temporarily rather than fixed desk assignments and offices. The spaces also attempt to balance the normal daily flow of personnel with the sudden increases space requirements for ‘all-hands’ events.