FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND COMMISSIONER KELLY ANNOUNCE COLLEGE POINT TOW POUND IS SELECTED TO BE NEW HOME OF POLICE ACADEMY
Groundbreaking Targeted for 2009; Modern and Consolidated Facility to House All Training Programs for New York's Finest
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced 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, at 129-05 31st Avenue, 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. The Mayor committed to identifying a site in January's State of the City Address. The Mayor and the Police Commissioner were joined at the announcement by Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Public Safety Committee Chair Peter Vallone Jr. and Council Member Tony Avella.
"All the successes our City has achieved are built on a solid foundation of public safety," said Mayor 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 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 Police Commissioner 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."
"As our city continues to grow, so must our police force reflect the best possible training," said Borough President Marhsall. "I thank Mayor Bloomberg for his foresight in building this new police academy in Queens. It is here that new officers will be trained and learn the latest technology in crime prevention and deployment of resources. At the same time, additional police personnel will be in the area to staff and maintain this facility, heightening the visible presence of the police. I look forward to working with the Mayor and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly as we address the issues related to making this major capital project a reality."
"The best police force in the world deserves the best training facilities," said Chair Vallone. "Queens will be proud to say that every officer on the City's streets will have started their career right here. I would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg for accomplishing this goal."
"College Point will make a great home for a brand new police academy and I look forward to working with the Administration to make sure that concerns about traffic will be addressed in the planning process," said Council Member Avella.
"The Queens Chamber of Commerce, that represents 1,700 businesses throughout Queens, welcomes the development of a brand new Police Academy in College Point," said Queens Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President William Egan. "The businesses in the area will derive a lot of benefits from having the Academy there."
The NYPD currently conducts training in numerous facilities scattered throughout the City. 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 (EVOC) is taught is far away at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn.
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. The site-selection committee that was charged with identifying a viable site for the new Police Academy used four criteria: access by mass transportation and highways, community context, a parcel size of at least 30 acres and general feasibility. The 30-acre College Point location meets each criterion. Northern Queens is a practical location for the Academy for City residents and those traveling in from the suburbs. Also, the site is well served by existing mass transportation and is near the Whitestone Expressway. There are no homes in the immediate area of the site; the nearest residential development is separated from the site by a hill and the MTA's College Point Bus Depot. The site-selection committee was made up of representatives from the Mayor's Office, Police Department, Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Office of Management and Budget, Economic Development Corporation and Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator.
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. Before construction can begin the City must complete the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), the City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) and design and construction procurement. The land use approval process will begin immediately as well as the selection of a design consultant to develop a master plan for the site. This site selection committee will continue to meet to coordinate the implementation of the project as well as search for a replacement site for the NYPD's towing operation, and it will plan for the future of the Gramercy Police Academy.
The report of the site selection committee is available from the Mayor's press office.
Stu Loeser/Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Paul Browne (Police Department)
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