The opening of the city's new police academy has been postponed again as a new class of recruits was sworn in and will use older facilities. NY1 criminal justice reporter Dean Meminger spoke exclusively with the NYPD's head of training about the future of the academy and filed the following report.
At a current cost of around $750 million, the massive new police academy sitting out in the College Point section Queens is behind schedule. The new head of NYPD Training said he's hoping to open the doors in January.
"When we begin to train our officers there, they won't want to go home. That's how nice it is," said Benjamin Tucker, NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Training.
Ground was broken for the academy during the Bloomberg administration and was scheduled to open in December of 2013. Construction delays, problems after Hurricane Sandy and even a fire at the location postponed the opening.
The NYPD says the building has dozens of smart classrooms, mock courtrooms, banks, stores and other facilities for training.
"Settings of apartments and sort of replicas of, have a subway car in one of the classrooms and a train station. So we will be able to re-enact or to create scenarios," Tucker said. "Scenario-based training is something that we want to do more of."
The massive site in Queens will allow the police department to train officers at one location instead of all across the city. The current academy is in Manhattan, while the shooting range and tactical villages are in the Bronx.
The newest class of 944 recruits are just starting their training, and the police commissioner said that won't stop six months from now when they graduate.
"We are also going to work very hard with you when you get into those streets to continue that training, to continue that monitoring, continue that mentoring," Bratton said.
The deputy commissioner for training said he'll pass on his life experiences as a New Yorker and a police officer to recruits.
"I grew up in Brooklyn. I'm from Bed-Stuy. I sort of experienced some of the challenges that some of the young black men experience today back then," Tucker said. "So I bring the personal experience as well as the professional experience."
He said he'll being visiting police officers on the beat to see if they're following NYPD training.