Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly announced Thursday the selection of the NYPD Tow Pound, located in the College Point section of Queens, as the site of the new police academy. A site selection committee reviewed eight locations and concluded that the Tow Pound is best suited for this use. The Tow Pound will allow for a modern complex that will consolidate in one campus facilities for civilians, recruits and active police officers that are currently spread out across the city.
"All the successes our city has achieved are built on a solid foundation of public safety," said Bloomberg. "As we invest in our city's future, we must also strengthen this foundation. Today, we're taking an important step towards that goal with the selection of a site for a new 21st Century Police Academy, which will train police officers to meet the challenges of tomorrow to protect our city in an ever-changing and complex world."
The NYPD currently conducts training in numerous facilities scattered throughout the New York. The main facility, the Police Academy, located in Manhattan's Gramercy Park neighborhood, is over 40 years old and is too small and outdated to meet the needs of today's department. It was intended for a department half of the size of the current force. A primary benefit of a new facility will be the consolidation of all NYPD training facilities at one location, creating a police training campus. Currently the Firearms and Tactics Section, where all firearms training is conducted, is located at Rodman's Neck in the Bronx, while the driver training field where the Emergency Vehicle Operations Course is taught is far away at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.
"The police department is not the agency it was a mere five years ago, never mind 43 years ago -- when the current police academy was constructed," said Kelly. "Since that time we have expanded in both size and mission to include new Counter Terrorism and Intelligence programs, expanded community outreach and greater focus on quality of life. The new police academy will provide what our police officers and all New Yorkers deserve: the most advanced law enforcement training facility anywhere in the world."
Once it is designed and constructed, the new police academy will feature instruction space, support and administration buildings, a field house, indoor shooting ranges, a tactical village, housing facility, driver training fields, K-9 environments, parking, a vehicle maintenance facility and a utility plant. A cost estimate has not been developed for the new Academy project but the capital plan in the mayor's upcoming executive budget will allocate $1 billion for the project. The Department of Design and Construction will oversee the project and the city expects to break ground on the new Police Academy campus by the end of 2009.