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Problem in jail means cleaning house

Ryan Carter

BURBANK -- Burbank Police are setting up shop -- temporarily -- in

Glendale.

Five Burbank Jail inmates were moved to the Glendale Police Department

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Monday morning after contractors for the local facility started repairing

its foundation. The jail is in the basement of the Police and Fire

Headquarters at 200 N. Third St. in Burbank.

Since the headquarters was completed in 1998 at a cost of more than

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$20 million, moisture has routinely seeped into the concrete jail floor,

city officials said. Local prisoners will be housed in Glendale for the

next two to three weeks while the necessary work is completed.

Officials believe water vapor has risen through the concrete and

become caught between a vinyl-type flooring and the upper surface of the

concrete foundation. It created air bubbles and a damp, sometimes

slippery floor -- leading to safety hazards in the 15,000-square-foot,

70-bed jail, police said.

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“We’ve been trying to get this thing done for three years,” Burbank

Capt. Gordon Bowers said. “It just kept getting worse and worse and

worse.”

Workers from the Monterey Park-based Kajima Construction Service, Inc.

are in the process of coating the concrete, the firm’s general manager,

Nori Ohashi, said.

Repairs to the jail -- which are being done under warranty -- are

coming with some inconvenience to officers.

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The booking of arrestees will take longer as Burbank Police have to go

to Glendale, Bowers said. Detainees arrested in Burbank will have to

travel to Glendale and then back to Burbank for court appearances.

“We’ve increased our capacity load, but it’s nothing that’s going to

be an endangerment to the community,” Glendale Jail Administrator Juan

Lopez said, adding the Glendale jail has a capacity for 72 inmates with

an average of anywhere from 4 to 17 custodies a day.

Burbank jailers will work at the Glendale facility while local

prisoners are housed there.

Burbank is not being charged for the use of Glendale’s cells, Lopez

said. After the 1994 Northridge earthquake, Burbank took in Glendale

inmates when that city’s jail sustained damage.


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