I thought eight years of working with crime scenes would make me somewhat immune to grief. Unfortunately, it has not worked out that way.
Parker Center, named after Chief Parker in 1966, started to go up in 1952 and was completed in 1955. There were many quirks to the building. To name a few, it was overly built, yet unable able to take earthquake retrofit; they spent more than ten million dollars installing a fire system that never worked; it had a helicopter pad on top and palm trees in front; it was referred to as PAB or Police Administration Building; and it was HQ for a long time. I made a complaint once about rats humping at the back entrance.
I don’t really miss the idea of being there. The location for my workplace was a leftover hand-me-down that we made work. Craftsman originally did the retrofit from crime lab to photo lab. Fifty years later, the very best craftsmanship had shown the wear of neglect.
We made jokes by writing on the huge cracks in some of the walls created by earthquakes and made larger with every one that came along. There were toilets that did not work and sinks that would not turn off. I did not like the building at all and am glad to be moving out.
The only memorable things the building held for me were memories of those who passed away and left us behind. As I walked in and out of small rooms and stared out of a night-filled window, I remembered one of the kindest people to ever work there. He was my introduction to the City and LAPD in general.
I am filled with such grief that he is now departed and there will be no place for me to go to remember him on a daily basis. In another room, I recalled the last conversation I had with another kindly gentleman who passed away just two years prior. In that moment, I could not believe the torrent of emotions that came over me when I realized I was looking a glimpse of the past for the last time.
My memories will last a bit longer than my stay at Parker Center and even LAPD. Tomorrow, however, the page must be turned.