Today’s news:

Council OKs College Point police academy

The City Council voted almost unanimously Monday to construct a new police academy in College Point to replace the current one in Manhattan, which is more than 40 years old.

“This is an outstanding milestone in a long effort to build a state of the art facility for the nation’s largest police department,” NYPD spokesman William Winning said via e-mail. “The Queens site is ideal.”

The project is ready to break ground because a construction contract has already been awarded and registered, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“The current Police Academy in Manhattan is over 40 years old and was built for a department half the size of the current one,” he said in a statement. “The new site will allow for a larger, state-of-the-art academy that will consolidate in one campus the facilities for civilians, recruits and active police officers which are currently spread out across the city.”

The 47-2 vote means that work will begin soon to turn a 30-acre site in the College Point Corporate Park near the Whitestone Expressway, bounded by 31st Avenue, College Point Boulevard, 28th Avenue and Ulmer Street, into a massive $1 billion, 3-million-square-foot police training academy.

The new facility will bring NYPD programs such as emergency vehicles and firearms training, which currently take place in the Bronx and Brooklyn — miles from the police academy’s Manhattan site — into one site with 250 classrooms, a field house, a tactical village, facilities to mimic prisoner processing stations and a simulated subway station to permit training in biological, chemical and radiological attacks.

The academy will have space for 2,000 recruits per year and refresher programs for officers and members of other law enforcement agencies.

City officials said the city hopes to build the core of the facility, which would include the construction of the academic classrooms, tactical gyms, a small dining area, administrative office and a temporary 700-space parking lot, in the first of three phases.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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