After maintaining an office in Glendale for more than 20 years, the California Highway Patrol's local station has moved to Altadena, near where it was originally established.
The Glendale office, at 6801 San Fernando Road, was closed and a $1.5-million station was opened at 2130 Windsor Ave. in Altadena, just north of the Foothill Freeway.
"We've come full circle," spokesman Steve Munday said as he stood amid about 40 unpacked boxes in his new office in the Altadena facility, designated the Verdugo Hills Area Station.
First CHP Station
The first patrol station to serve the area opened with 11 officers in July, 1957. It was on Angeles Crest Highway, just north of what is now the Foothill Freeway in La Canada. Previously, Glendale, Burbank and the foothill communities were covered from a station in North Hollywood.
The population continued to grow and more officers were added until, with 43 officers, the patrol moved to Glendale in 1967. That station, built for $250,000, was just west of the Golden State Freeway near Western Avenue.
The old building is being bought by Weber's Bread, a wholesale baker, for office space. The company, which has a bakery next door, eventually hopes to make the building a regional office.
Now there are 58 officers, most of whom patrol parts of four freeways--the Golden State, Glendale, Foothill and Pasadena-Ventura--stretching from Sun Valley to Pasadena.
Three years ago, CHP officials began searching for a new site. They said the Glendale office did not have room for separate facilities for female officers, did not have enough parking and was not accessible to the handicapped.
Besides, said Munday, "our lease was up."
3 Other Sites Studied
Glendale and Burbank officials, citing the benefits of having the station near freeways, lobbied for a location near the San Fernando Road site. Three sites, including one near Glendale Community College, were studied, but officials settled on the Altadena site in 1985.
"We hated to leave behind a city where we had a working relationship, but this move does give us quicker access to the foothill areas, which are growing the most," Munday said.
The new office is a one-story building with tiled roof and peach-colored stucco. Earl Richardson, whose architectural firm of Richardson & Chalmers designed the building, said: "Our intent was to make it more friendly looking than a typical institutional police station. We made it California style."
The state will lease the building for two years from Jerry Smith Construction of La Crescenta, then buy it, CHP officials said.
On Monday, staff members and officers were unpacking the more than 400 boxes that had been moved and familiarizing themselves with the new quarters.
Adjusting to Equipment
At the afternoon briefing, as patrol shifts were changing, eight officers groaned when Sgt. William Moore tried to explain the communication system and phone numbers.
Elsewhere, clerks tried to find supplies and workers painted furniture. At one point, a secretary's phone conversation was broadcast throughout the building when she inadvertently pushed the page button on her telephone.
"We're all going back to college to get degrees to learn how to work them," Officer Mark Fessia said of the phones.
The office will be dedicated Oct. 21 at an open house, which is expected to be attended by local, county and state officials.
The station also serves parts of La Crescenta and La Canada Flintridge, Pacoima, Tujunga, North Hollywood, Sun Valley, Pasadena and parts of Los Angeles.