New York City will replace its aging Police Academy building in lower Manhattan with a 30-acre high-tech campus in Queens, reports the New York Times. The campus will be built in College Point, site of the city's largest auto pound. It will allow the police to consolidate far-flung training grounds – now up to 25 miles apart – at one collegiate-style location, officials said. Plans include 250 wireless classrooms, a 100,000 square-foot “tactical village” with a subway car and mock street scenes, and housing for visiting law enforcement agencies willing to pay for training there.
Opened in 1964 for a smaller force whose recruits were all men, the current building can no longer accommodate its classes of more than 1,000. Training is broken into shifts, the locker room is crudely divided for the sexes, the electrical wiring is questionable and the garage and hallways double as storage space. “We've expanded both the size of the force and its mission, to include new counterterrorism and intelligence programs, expanded community outreach and greater focus on quality of life,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. “All these activities create new demands on the Police Academy that this facility will meet.”