Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Police Academy Plans Will Move NYPD Firing Range Out Of The Bronx

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TWC News: Police Academy Plans Will Move NYPD Firing Range Out Of The Bronx
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Plans for a new police academy for the NYPD — announced Thursday — could also mean peace and quiet for some Bronx residents. NY1’s Rita Nissan filed the following report.

Even on this cold, windy day, Peter La Scala enjoys the view from his City Island home. Sometimes though, it's impossible to be out here.

“The noise level is just unbelievable,” says La Scala. “At times you can't have a conversation, especially here outside on the deck.”

The noise comes from just across the water at the tip of Pelham Bay Park.

It's home to Rodman's Neck, the police department's main firing range, which has been there since 1959. For decades, residents have complained.

“It shakes your home,” says City Island resident Maureen Hraska. “It's very loud.”

There have been protests, lawsuits and promises. Finally, there's a real promise the problem will go away for good.

On Thursday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a that new police academy will be built in Queens and the firing range will move there.

But it will take a few years. The parks department, which is in charge of the property, says it's too soon to talk about what will happen to the Bronx land.

After complaints that bullets fired into the hills contaminated the area, Councilman James Vacca says there needs to be an environmental review. Then he's wants the area to become open space.

“To me, it's very near designated wildlife preserves in Pelham Bay Park,” says Vacca. “I think basically we want to preserve it as park land in a natural state.”

As for Peter La Scala, he's just looking forward to a little peace and quiet.

- Rita Nissan
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