Amid car chase demonstrations and simulated shootouts, police and city officials unveiled a $29-million training facility Monday named for former Los Angeles Police Chief Edward M. Davis.
Mayor Richard Riordan said the center will make today's officers "better at what they do best--protecting and serving Angelenos."
He called Davis "a legend in the LAPD and a legend among law enforcement agencies throughout the world."
Davis served as chief from 1969 to 1978, and later won election to the state Senate. Though frail, the 81-year-old Davis showed a sense of humor.
Noting that he had borrowed the idea for creating Neighborhood Watch from the writings of Britain's Sir Robert Peel, Davis quipped: "Really, we should call this the Peel Center, because that's what they'll be doing out there--peeling out."
He was then ushered off the stage for the inaugural drive around the facility's training track.
The 44-acre center has three firing ranges and a mock city scene where recruits and officers can practice bank robbery and hostage situations. Training is expected to begin in January.
"I think this facility is going to give us a considerable advantage in training our officers," Police Chief Bernard C. Parks said.