Parts of it looks like a Hollywood studio, but it's all about being ready for real life-and-death situations on the street. This week, the city held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new police academy. NY1's Dean Meminger took a tour and filed the following report.
Welcome to the 52nd Precinct. Well, not really. A replica stationhouse was built inside the new police academy in College Point.
There are several mock courtrooms in the academy as well, where officers learn what it's like to take part in a trial.
Long before any police officer appears in court, they have to encounter people on the street, and the more than $750 million academy is all about scenario-based training. From apartments to banks, stores and restaurants, they’re all inside this building. It's like a movie studio with a variety of different sets.
"We believe the finest municipal police training facility complex in the Untied States of America," said Police Commissioner William Bratton.
Traffic stop scenarios can also be played out here. What about handling prisoners properly? Well, there’s several mock jail cells to go over that.
"In recruiting, in service, specialized skills enhancement training. All the various components of our department, civilian and sworn, will now have this new home in which to learn, in which to improve their skills," Bratton said.
One of the more interesting things about the new police academy is that they actually have a subway car in the building so the officers can do all of the training they need when it comes to subway crime.
City funding for the 730,000-square-foot facility was approved when Michael Bloomberg was mayor and Ray Kelly was the police commissioner. Construction began in 2009, but there were lots of delays. The first class to be sworn in here wasn’t until this past October, two years behind schedule.
"We see something having emerged that is literally the top-of-the-line, the state-of-the-art, the best of the best," said Mayor Bil de Blasio.
The building has huge athletic spaces, classes and auditoriums that seat hundreds. There’s also a two-story library.
The NYPD says on average, about 3,000 people will be in some sort of training here every day.