Glendale to house Burbank prisoners

Water damage to jail facility means building will be under construction for six months.

March 25, 2011|By Gretchen Meier,

Starting next month, an arrest in Burbank means more time in the back a police squad car.

Any person arrested after April 11 will have to be booked and housed at Glendale’s jail until water damage repairs are completed at Burbank Police and Fire headquarters.

The repairs, including the replacement of the entire jail floor, are expected to take at least six months, said Burbank Police Lt. Armen Dermenjian.


The damage occurred during construction of the Burbank facility after the contractor failed to take “proper precautions” to prevent water from seeping into the floor, Dermenjian said.

Water that absorbed through the concrete foundation caused the floor’s paint to bubble up, creating uneven patches. Rain also seeped in through the walls, leaving stains and residue in the cells.

“We have this great facility and we expect it to work,” said Burbank police Sgt. Robert Quesada. “We shouldn’t have water coming in through the walls and floor.”

This is the second time in the past decade prisoners have been transferred from Burbank to Glendale to repair the jail floor. The last round of repairs was completed by Kajima Construction Services under warranty.

The Burbank City Council authorized a $3.16-million settlement offer from Kajima during a closed session meeting in 2008.

The council approved a $9.6-million project earlier this month to move forward with other repairs, including extensive waterproofing, repairs to plumbing and additional fireproofing. The city is using redevelopment agency revenue to fund the project.

Burbank may also have to pay for additional police staffing during the repairs, officials said.

Officers will be out of Burbank city limits while driving to Glendale to book prisoners and transport them to Los Angeles County Superior Court in Burbank for arraignments, Dermenjian said.

“There is a good probability we may need to hire off-duty officers [for transporting],” said Burbank Deputy Chief Tom Angel. “But we’ll have a better understanding next week.”

According to Dermenjian, it takes 45 minutes of round-trip travel time to Glendale.

This isn’t the first time the cities have had to share facilities.

After the 1994 Northridge earthquake, Burbank took in Glendale inmates when that city's jail sustained damage.

Burbank jailers will work at the Glendale facility while local prisoners are housed there.

“We’re a 96-bed facility and we’re well under capacity,” said Glendale Police Capt. Carl Povilaitis. “We can still do everything we need to.”

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