December 13th in Seal Beach History

On this date in 1959, the Los Angeles Times ran a profile of a do-it-yourself project that members of the Seal Beach Police Department were spending their free time working on.

The last time we visited the Seal Beach Police Department, it was part of the brand-new, state-of-the-art Seal Beach City Hall that opened on October 28th, 1929.

Now, over thirty years later, Police Chief Ray Harbour felt the department’s facilities needed to be modernized. This was a fine notion except for one annoying problem — there was no money in the police budget to modernize the police department.

So Seal Beach’s 17-member police force decided to do it themselves.

Well, mostly. Construction workers demolished and removed the outmoded and little used jail cell block, but policemen, under the direction of patrolman S.C. Anderberg, then remodeled the space into a detective bureau and squad room with partitions and built-in desks.

A coffee fund was used to purchase a pistol that was traded for pine paneling. A storage shed was converted into a darkroom. Another shed was remodeling to house an emergency electrical generator to power city hall during disasters.

The Seal Beach Police Department continued to operate in the old city hall building for another 18 years when it moved to its current location on Seal Beach Boulevard.

– Michael Dobkins

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