Law enforcement is an interesting travel subject and the Los Angeles Police Department has a few sites that can be visited. Los Angeles first had a paid police force in 1869. The force consisted of six officers operating under a Marshall. Today, there are just under 10,000 sworn officers on the force, supported by around 3,000 civilian employees. Here are three places in Los Angeles to explore the history of the Los Angeles Police Department and see it’s current operations as well:
Los Angeles Police Museum
The Los Angeles Police Museum (6045 York Blvd.) is housed in an old police station in the city’s Highland Park neighborhood. The museum is dedicated to preserving, exhibiting and interpreting the history of the department. Adult admission is $9, kids are free and parking is also free. The LAPD museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month.
Los Angeles Police Academy
Located in Elysian Park, in the hills next to Dodger Stadium, the Los Angeles Police Academy started as a private gun and country club for officers. A club still exists, the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club (1880 Academy Drive) which provides a shooting range and training for officers, along with recreational facilities. While the Academy and facilities are not open to the public, the gift shop is. Shopping at the gift shop allows a little self-guided tour and the facilities can be seen. The gift shop offers very unique LAPD and Los Angeles-branded items which make great gifts. Uniforms and other tactical gear is also sold, to sworn peace officers. The Police Academy also has a cafe, which is open to the public. The cafe is currently closed for renovation, expected to re-open in June, 2014. Food trucks have taken its place, temporarily.
LAPD headquarters building
This new building (built in 2009), in the heart of downtown Los Angeles (2111 East 1st Street), replaced the historic Parker Center building, featured on many television shows and movies. The building doesn’t currently offer public tours, but a rotating exhibit is shown in the lobby, along with LAPD artifacts. The cafeteria is open to the public and is a fun place to eat lunch in a room filled with cops. Kids will love it.
Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society
Although not quite LAPD-related, the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society is in the heart of Hollywood (1355 North Cahuenga Blvd.) and recent additions and renovations make it a great choice for kids. There are lots of exhibits and interactive displays with the message of fire and overall safety. The museum is open on Saturdays only, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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