FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES NEW POLICE ACADEMY IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, April 8, 2007
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"1964 was a great year for New York: We held a World's Fair, the Yankees won the pennant, and you could still eat a slice of pizza or ride the subway for about 15 cents. 1964 was also the year the NYPD opened a new police academy on East 20th Street in Manhattan.
"Today, thanks to the men and women of the NYPD, we have driven crime down to levels not seen since the days of the 15 cent slice. But to continue making the safest big city in America even safer, we need to provide our officers with the modern, state-of-the art training facilities that they need to keep us safe.
"Since the current police academy was built in 1964, our City and our police force have grown, technology has revolutionized training practices, and we now face new public safety challenges that no one could have imagined. Not only is the current location outdated, it's also too small to accommodate all of the training programs we run for recruits, police officers, and civilians. As a result, we've had to hold training at various, far-flung sites throughout the city. For instance, emergency vehicle training takes place in South Brooklyn, while firearms training happens about 25 miles away from there, in the Bronx.
"The first step toward building a new academy was to find a site where we could consolidate all of these diverse training programs in one campus. Last week, after careful consideration of potential sites, we decided on a location in College Point, Queens. The site is about 30 acres and is currently being used as a police tow pound. In addition to its size, the location has other advantages. It's centrally located for recruits living in the five boroughs as well as those living in the suburbs and it's easily accessible by car and mass transit.
"It also happens that the city already owns this land - which saves us some money and allows us to move forward on the project more quickly. Developing a large complex like this can be challenging, but already we've begun reaching out to elected officials and community members - who are very supportive of the project - to address any concerns they might have. If all goes smoothly, we hope to break ground for the new campus about two and a half years from now in the fall of 2009.
"Creating a 21st century police academy is an important and essential investment in our City's future. Over the past few years, the NYPD has not only done an excellent job keeping us safe, they have also thwarted a number of terrorist attacks. But the reality is that our current police academy doesn't allow for the extensive computer-based simulations that are so important in today's world. The new campus in College Point will feature cutting edge training techniques, and it will help give our police officers the tools and training they need to continue driving down crime to record lows.
"Investing in New York's Finest will produce big benefits for our entire city over the long run. The success we're enjoying today - a growing economy and record low unemployment - depends on a strong foundation of public safety. To ensure our city's future success, we are going to continuing strengthening that foundation.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening, and have a Happy Easter and Passover."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address