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America's police station

November 05, 2009

Re "Memories keep Parker Center alive," Oct. 30

I was dismayed to read of the plans to possibly demolish Parker Center.

I think this building has been at the center of what is good (and bad) in law enforcement.

Throughout the years, that building really has been America's police headquarters. It represented, through the lens of TV and movies, both an idealized view of what the police should be and the reality of the flaws in attempting to exercise justice through law enforcement.

The first time I saw someone given "Miranda" rights was on a TV show set there.

That building is a symbol of America's continuing efforts to provide justice. Those efforts were not always successful, but if there was one single place where those efforts -- good and bad -- were presented for all to see, it was Parker Center. This building was more than just L.A.'s police administration building, it was America's.

Bill James

Matthews, N.C.

The writer is a member of the Mecklenburg County Commission.

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