Glendale Police Department Montrose substation

Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa, center, and other dignitaries participate in the ribbon cutting ceremony at the grand re-opening of the Glendale Police Montrose substation on Ocean View Boulevard in Montrose on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. About 100 people came to the celebration. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / October 15, 2013)

A bright, new “Glendale Police Department” sign that is displayed outside the Montrose substation makes the substation hard to miss.

The new sign and front window decals were just some of the renovations completed to the exterior of the substation in the 3800 block of Ocean View Boulevard. A step inside the office reveals a fresh look, complete with decorative photographs that pay homage to the area's rich history.

“This truly is a community substation brought to you by the community,” said Glendale Police Capt. Todd Stokes at the substation's reopening on Tuesday.

The 17-year-old substation closed in September for renovations after receiving an anonymous $10,000 donation from a local resident.

During its closure, Glendale Water & Power crews replaced the substation's old walls and made electrical and plumbing repairs, said Lt. Lola Abrahamian, who oversees the police department's operations for north Glendale.

Other renovations included new carpet, art work, a TV, a fingerprinting table and a new floor plan.

A restored clock from 1924, which was hidden away inside the substation, now hangs next to the front counter. The clock was donated to the substation by the estate of Anita Peet Geyer, who owned Peet's Stationary, where it hung for many years.

The substation, which opened in 1996, was the brainchild of former police investigator Tahnee Lightfoot, who at the time was assigned to patrol the area.

The Montrose Shopping Park Assn. expressed interest in having more police presence in the area, so she met with business owners several times to work out a plan to open the substation.

The association has paid for the facility's rent and utilities since it opened, Abrahamian said.

At the reopening, Police Chief Ron De Pompa said the Montrose community exemplifies the idea that “the police are the community and its community are the police.” 

Betty Uebel is one of the community members who decided 17 years ago to volunteer at the police substation. She and a group of volunteers staff the facility every week.

Uebel's many years of working at the substation, she said, have taught her a lot about patience.

Still, Uebel plans to continue volunteering for as long she can because she enjoys being active and helping people.

“The substation is here for the use of the community and for them to come in with any problems they have,” she said.

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Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.

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