Visitors tour new home for San Francisco Police Department

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) -- The City of San Francisco on Friday showed off its brand new public safety building that will be home of the San Francisco Police Department, the department's Southern District Station and Fire Station number four.

The remarkable facility, which took four years to complete and cost $250 million, opens its doors next week,

200 people have signed up to get an early look at the building with tours running on Friday and Saturday.

Sitting among Mission Bay's new buildings, the ball park and the waterfront, it is an iconic structure filled with all manner of memorabilia, art and spectacular views. In the reception area, there is a solemn tribute to those officers killed in the line of duty.

The building is the most technologically and seismically advanced, as well as environmentally-friendly, police and fire facility in existence anywhere.

"It represents the City really well; that we've moved ahead technologically," said San Francisco Police Lt. Peter Walsh. "We've mentioned before that we got e-mail probably after everybody in the private sector got it. So here we are and we're finally getting on the cutting edge."

The idea of using everything natural -- including light -- and wasting nothing was a driving concept behind the facility. The building will reuse sink and shower water as well as rainwater.

"Capture rainwater for irrigation and to use for the cooling towers. And we'll be using gray water to flush the toilets," said Samuel Chui of the SF Public Works Department.

The structure rests on 220 pilings that go all the way down to bedrock more than 200 feet below the surface to assure earthquake safety. It can be off the grid but fully functional for four entire days and nights.

Funding was overwhelmingly approved by voters five years ago as part of the Earthquake Safety Emergency Response Bond to move critical command facilities out of the aging, low-tech Hall of Justice on Bryant Street.

"It's spectacular. It going to be a pleasure to work here. It's going to be a pleasure to bring the community in and let them see it, to work with them," said Walsh.

The structure architecturally embraces the much smaller, but fully retrofitted and restored brick fire station that served the area long ago.

"It was designed in 1927. It has been decommissioned for decades. But, now we're repurposing it for a community meeting space," said Mr. Chui.

The Chief's office is a nice but modest room with a commanding corner view of the Bay.

Finally, San Francisco has a world-class police headquarters that matches the greatness of its city.