People tour new police station, crime lab

wallAt the new East Patrol police station, an outside  walkway is enclosed by a wall with ceramic bowls tossed by neighborhood children and residents.

Those bowls symbolize reconciliation between police and citizens, including people who lost homes for the 17-acre campus that includes a new crime lab.

killed-in-line-of-duty)Citizens on Tuesday toured the entire new Leon Mercer Jordan campus between 26th and 27th streets, Brooklyn to Prospect avenues.

It is named after a civil rights leader murdered outside a nearby tavern, and a display inside tells his story.

There were speeches and a ribbon cutting. The crime lab opens early next year and 129 police officers have already started working at the patrol station.

Alvin Brooks, president of the board of police commissioners, noted that the community will be able to use patrol facilities like a gym, meeting rooms and a computer lab.

“We need a place where we can interact and serve the community in this part of town and now we have it,” he said.

Quinton Lucas, 3rd district at large councilman, said it was “a new beginning for our neighborhood, a new beginning for what we think about 27th and Prospect.”

Mayor Sly James called it a catalyst for more east side development.

Third District Councilman Jermaine Reed, who took heat as some people were displaced for the project, said it was a start in addressing issues in a part of the city that is sometimes forgotten.

chemistry-area-of-lab-labIn the lab just west of the police station, citizens saw the first city crime lab originally designed for that purpose.

Natural light there shines in on specialty sections that include chemistry, toxicology, fingerprints and more.

Small rooms with adjustable and easily cleaned walls can be used for crime reenactments that include blood spatter tests.

Bricks from houses demolished for the campus, and even trees knocked down for it, were incorporated into the patrol station.

Pastor DeLawrence Shepherd, whose church was demolished for the project, said he was strongly against it but now supports it.

City officials tried hard to be fair, he said, and his church is now relocated.

The new campus will make the city safer, he said, and “We, too, want the city to be a safer place to live.”


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