DOWNEY - After more than a month of construction, Raytheon unveiled its signature logo Monday morning, mounting a bright, neon red sign to the front of the 27,000-sqaure-foot facility, which will soon house its Public Safety Regional Technology Center, slated to open this September.The new sign, hoisted into place right outside the two-story office building, located at 11899 Woodruff Ave., marks the beginning of a nearly $2 million renovation of the facility, which will serve as a technology center geared towards improving communications technologies used by public safety agencies. According to Michael Bostic, director of Raytheon's public safety solutions, renovation has already begun at the site, which will accommodate more than 25 program engineers and managers as early as next month. "We're moving right along at a rapid pace," said Bostic, a retired, 34-year LAPD veteran who joined Raytheon's Network Centric Systems division three years ago. "The mission is different, but the capabilities through Raytheon are the same. We're not really equipment sellers, we're problem solvers expanding our business, transferring these capabilities to the public safety market." Bostic also praised the city for fostering a business-friendly environment while the company prepared to launch the regional technology center, which will serve as the epicenter of Raytheon's civil communications business in the western United States, providing test and research facilities, training, maintenance, logistics, and systems support. "We looked around at a lot of the different neighborhoods. We chose Downey because of its location to our customers ‚àí it's industrial, centrally located, right in the center of everything," said Bostic. "The city has been exceptionally helpful during this process." Once completed, engineers at the new Raytheon site will focus on comprehensive projects, such as the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System, an integrated, wireless voice and data communications system that will support more than 34,000 first responders and local mission-critical personnel in more than 80 cities, including Downey. Utilizing an interoperable, broadband system across the Los Angeles basin, the LA-RICS would allow law enforcement, fire and emergency medical first responders to communicate through one system, increasing accuracy and efficiency, Bostic explained. According to Raytheon officials, the regional technology center, staffed by nearly 150 people, will eventually feature a large testing facility, laboratory and first-floor showroom where experiments and products will be on display for the public. Bostic said Raytheon plans to host a grand opening event in September for the community and city officials once the center's renovation is complete. Raytheon, the aerospace and defense company, which garnered more than $25 billion in sales last year and employs 72,000 people worldwide, announced in March intentions to open a Public Safety Regional Technology Center in Downey, dedicated to developing and testing new public safety technologies.
********** Published: May 26, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 6