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City Buzz: Issues in Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters at Third Street and Orange Grove Avenue in downtown Burbank

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G — Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters at Third Street and Orange Grove Avenue in Downtown Burbank

There are growing concerns about some simmering issues in the Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters. This time around they do not involve the police mess — which still hangs over the BPD.  Instead, one of the issues deals with the building itself and the other, tension between the two city departments which share the building: police and fire.

Roaches in the building:

First, the trouble-plagued headquarters. It was supposed to be a $30 million state-of-the-art facility when it opened in 1998. However, it soon became clear the construction was shoddy. Eventually, the city council accepted a $3.16 million settlement from the original contractor, Kajima Construction Services. Meanwhile, a long-series of repairs and renovations on the building have cost millions. The latest rehab on the headquarters was completed in March of 2012. Now there’s a lingering issue that needs attention, a roach infestation.

City officials are said to be aware of the insect invasion. It has been “addressed” in the past — but not resolved. I’m told the solution is to put mesh screens in the drains to keep the roaches out. This apparently was never done. Now 2-inch roaches reportedly are “all over the place.”

There are a lot of stories going around about the roaches.  One involves a female officer who was taking a shower when a roach fell on her. Ugh!

Police and Fire Battle:

Frequently, called upon to join forces to protect health and safety of the community– members of Burbank’s Police and Fire Departments reportedly are fighting among themselves. The issue, a dispute over gym equipment, which is supposed to be shared. Police officers are accusing firefighters of hiding certain pieces of workout apparatus to keep them from using the gym machines. The reason, the fire department believes the police side is not paying its fair share for the equipment. Sounds petty. No matter, it’s produced tension between the two departments.

Neither issue is momentual.  Nevertheless, these issues should not be allowed to fester. They should be resolved quickly. City Hall officials need to step in and take action.

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