For the past several years in Long Beach, time — in a sense — stood still.
Depending on where you’re standing, the clock with four faces in front of the Long Beach LIRR station is frozen at 9:25 or at 9:40.
Now, former Assemb. Harvey Weisenberg has made it his mission to restore the clock sitting on Park Avenue, which he dedicated 16 years ago as a memorial to law enforcement.
Weisenberg, 86, also a former Long Beach police officer, donated $25,000 to the city last month for the clock to be replaced.
“Before I die, I’m going to make sure we have a police memorial,” he said. “I care about these people and if nobody else cares, that's their problem. It’s part of my life.”
Long Beach city officials said they could not afford to fix the clock, which has stood broken at the entrance to the train station.
Weisenberg first delivered a $10,000 check to the city last year, but the check was returned when he was told there was not enough money or interest in getting it fixed. He said he was told it was not enough to fix the clock, and given its age and wear and tear, it had to be replaced.
The clock was erected at the train station May 22, 1994, and has survived superstorm Sandy and Long Beach’s sea air. It is unclear when the clock stopped ticking.
A plaque at the base of the clock lists Weisenberg’s name and reads, “Dedicated in the timeless tradition of law enforcement to those who have served and those who continue to serve.”
Weisenberg recounted in an interview saving children as a police officer and people who died in his arms. He has given countless donations to law enforcement officers and families of those killed in the line of duty. He said they need to be remembered.
“Long Beach is full of different generations. Every police officer takes an oath to protect lives,” Weisenberg said. “I’m happy to do this because it’s my city and my people, but there’s no excuse for this. Long Beach is a small city, we took care of each other. Everybody here helps everybody.”
The city accepted Weisenberg’s $25,892 donation at its Dec. 17 meeting and voted to purchase a post street clock from the Verdin Co. in Cincinnati.
State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) who succeeded Weisenberg in the Assembly in 2015, said "For Harvey, helping people … has been his passion."
Weisenberg also donated $7,000 with the charity Surf for All and Skudin Surf company last year to install a wheelchair lift for Councilwoman Elizabeth Treston to sit on the council dais.
“Harvey fixing a clock is representing a new council fixing the city,” Treston said. “It’s been broken for a long time and it’s going to a take a lot of patience to put it back together and the pieces are hard to find.”
"It shows his goal has always been about Long Beach,” she said. “And I think that if people could just take a little bit of his concern and kindness, the city would be a lot better place.“
Long Beach Post Clock
Site of police memorial dedicated in 1994
Will be replaced through a $25,000 donation
New clock will be purchased from the Verdin Co. in Cincinnati