Communities unite to repair police storefront
by Mariko Lamb
Published - 05/08/13 - 03:31 PM | 3127 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
District 2 City Councilman Kevin Faulconer, third from right, was among those tackling desperately needed repairs at the police department’s storefront in Pacific Beach on April 27. 	MARIKO LAMB
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Neighbors in Pacific Beach and La Jolla united on April 27 to tackle desperately needed repairs to the San Diego Police Department’s (SDPD) substation in Pacific Beach. From painting the exterior façade to landscaping the grounds, Mission Bay and La Jolla Rotarians, students involved in Rotary’s Interact Program and local community leaders got their hands dirty for a good cause on “Rotarians at Work Day.”

“This storefront is so valuable for our police officers here in the beach area, and it’s in desperate need of repair,” said District 2 City Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who stopped by the restoration event. “You can see the pride and the fact that this is just so needed by our officers. There are a lot of smiles on their faces today.”

Nearly a year after La Jolla Town Council vice president Nancy Gardner brought the deplorable state of the substation to light, community groups, local businesses and residents answered the call for help with donations of funds, materials, time and services.

“A lot of people talked about it in the past, but we actually started taking action, and it’s totally a grassroots effort by the community,” she said. “We’ve had so many donors and there just has been an outpouring of help from the community. This is totally a broad-based community project and such a labor of love. That’s why it’s so important, and it came out beautifully.”

The restored storefront serves as an operational facility for police officers to write reports, use the restroom or take a lunch break without having to make the trek up to the Northern Division police station in University City.

“We cannot do enough for the men and women who keep us safe,” said Gardner. “If they leave our community in La Jolla and Pacific Beach to go all the way up to UC, they’re out of service for at least 45 minutes just driving to do what they have to do. Here, it’s 10 minutes from La Jolla and it’s right in Pacific Beach.”

SDPD Northern Division Capt. Brian Ahearn said he was overwhelmed by the generous contributions of so many community members to make the substation a functional, clean and workable facility.

“This building has been transformed. You would not believe the difference,” he said. “It is now a tremendous environment — very conducive to getting some good, hearty work done by our cops so they can get back in the field and handle those very important calls for services in our community.

“I think ‘thank you’ is just inadequate. It just doesn’t say enough,” he said. “I don’t know if there’s anything I can ever say to express my gratitude as the commanding officer of Northern Division to our communities for just stepping up and saying ‘thank you’ to our police officers for a job well done.”

Donations are still being accepted for upgrades to technology capabilities, including LAN drops and wiring to support officers’ computers, and funds for an HVAC system for heating and air conditioning. Checks can be made payable to the Police Officers Association with “storefront” listed in the subject line. Send donations to 1040 West Muirlands Drive, La Jolla, 92037. Donations are tax deductible.

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