On the eve of his departure for the state Senate, outgoing Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon on Thursday unveiled an artist's sketch of a proposed memorial for police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.
"I think we constantly have to remind ourselves of the challenges our police and firefighters face and what they sacrifice for us," said Alarcon, who has proposed Panorama City as a site. "This week the point was made given the loss of Officer [Brian] Brown."
Brown, a 27-year-old single father, was killed when a fleeing suspect opened fire from a car Sunday night in the Fox Hills Mall area.
While there are at least four other such memorials in the city already, Alarcon said one is needed in the Valley. He has suggested the retail and industrial complex being built at the former General Motors assembly plant site in Panorama City, where police and fire facilities are also planned.
"It would give a tribute to fallen officers and firefighters, and this would fill perhaps a gap that might be perceived that the Valley does not have sufficient cultural and artistic projects," he said.
Alarcon presented several artists' renderings of his concept for the memorial: an arch over a pool of water. The renderings were done for free by Manuel Hernandez, an artist from Alarcon's district who also completed a painting of the Los Angeles Dodgers that adorns Alarcon's office wall, he said.
Because city law requires that developers set aside 1% of project construction costs for public art, there is already $170,000 available for the memorial, he said. He also said donations will be sought.
There are existing memorials for police and firefighters at the Civic Center downtown and at the police training facility in Westchester. There is a memorial at Parker Center and one recently dedicated at the site of a helicopter crash in Griffith Park.
A spokesman said 191 LAPD officers have been killed on the job since 1907. Fire officials said 52 firefighters have died in the line of duty.
Alarcon, who leaves City Hall today for the Sacramento post he won in the November election, said he will continue to return to Los Angeles weekly to wrap up projects begun during his term until a successor is elected.