Tag Archives: recruits

Phase 1 of new police academy nearly complete

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy the NYPD

The first phase of a master $656 million plan to construct a new police academy in College Point is well on track for substantial completion by next December, the NYPD said.

City recruits will not likely step foot into their new training digs until July 2014, but the two steel structures in the Phase 1 portion of the project — meant to house classrooms, administrative offices and gyms — have been erected and are close to being 100 percent constructed, according to Inspector Terrence Riley of the NYPD.

The 700,000-square-feet currently being developed in the project’s first phase, Riley said, will accommodate one tour of 1,640 recruits during their first six months of training. Among classrooms and gyms, the new space for the city’s finest-to-be will also include a quarter-mile outdoor running track and a mock-up small city with banks, stores, apartments and streetscapes for simulated scenario-based training.

Some 3,280 recruits a year will come in and out of the total 30 acre site — bordered by College Point Boulevard, 28th Avenue and Ulmer Street — once it is completed, but the full build has not been entirely designed or funded yet and will not be for a few years, Riley said.

“This is just the first piece of a master plan,” he said, adding that changing training needs, a shifting police force now consisting 30 percent of women, and the importance of consolidating training that is currently spread across the city led to the push for a new academy.

“Our firearms training is in the Bronx and our drivers training is in Brooklyn. So, we’re moving 2,000 to 3,000 recruits all around the city to get all their training over a six month period,” Riley said. “It just wasn’t efficient, so the decision was made to make really a substantial investment in a new police academy.”

But some College Point residents called that “substantial” multimillion dollar investment into question, saying the new academy will not directly decrease crime in the commercial area.

“I hear that figure and College Point doesn’t benefit from it,” said James Cervino, who said he and a growing group of locals have been calling for more police presence for years.

The recruits, Riley said, would be unarmed and half-trained and would not be walking the beat of College Point as a practice site during training. But 30 to 40 cops will be assigned to patrol the academy’s perimeters, Riley reassured, and the recruits will be expected to make arrests and call 9-1-1 if they spot a crime in progress.

“They are in the area and they are visible, which is better than now, which is nothing,” he said.

Riley also touted the 100 brand new positions that will open up for jobs maintaining the site’s power facilities. Instructors and staff, however, will be transferred over from the current police academy in Manhattan, he said.

Authorities are still working out issues revolving around the lack of parking spaces on site — only 900, which is not enough to cover one tour of recruits — and the estimated 80 trees chopped down around the academy’s perimeter without the NYPD’s knowledge.

Riley said the idea of shuttle buses, use of public transportation and carpool are being discussed and said the city’s Parks Department will replace the fallen trees with 120 new ones.

New cops join 106th

| aaltman@queenscourier.com

The Courier/Photo by Alexa Altman

Following numerous requests from residents and officials for more police officers, the 106th Precinct has added 15 members to its expanded force.

The additional officers were introduced to the public at the precinct’s monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 9 by Captain Thomas Pascale.

Senator Joseph Addabbo welcomed the cops during the meeting, congratulating Pascale on the new additions and thanking him for keeping the neighborhood safe.

Regardless of the inclusion, Addabbo surmises the area continuously requires extra police.

“While I’ll always be grateful for [additional] cops, I’ll always advocate for more,” said Addabbo.

According to Addabbo, the 106th Precinct loses officers every summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, to reassignments in the Rockaways.
Anticipating the area’s first summer following the opening of Resorts World Casino New York, four additional officers will be designated to the entertainment facility during the weekends.

Addabbo feels there has not necessarily been a recent spike in crime, contrary to recent published reports. He added that area police deal mainly with grand larcenies and burglaries, rather than major, violent crimes.

“We should never just react to spikes in crime. We should prevent them,” said Addabbo. “Local residents want to see a patrol car come down their block. They want to see a presence.”

According to CompStat, the number of grand larcenies in the 106th Precinct over the past year has increased by 35.2 percent.
Community Council president Frank Dardani, who advocated for more officers on behalf of local residents, claims the request for additional police is an ongoing occurrence in the 106th Precinct.

According to Dardani, the extra cops come from impact precincts – ones with high numbers of gun-related and violent crimes – and have been on the job for several years. Dardani said that rookie officers are often sent to work these neighborhoods to dissipate crime by flooding them with an obvious police presence. In Queens, the 101st, 103rd and 113th Precincts are impacts, Dardani said.

He feels the opening of Resorts World should have earned the area between 45 and 50 additional officers.

Dardani believes the entire city is in need of an expanded police presence, claiming that New York has been down roughly 8,000 officers since Rudy Giuliani was mayor. He also alleged that more officers are retiring than are joining the force.

According to 106th Precinct Community Affairs Officer Kenny Zorn, the new officers began patrolling the area last week.

“It’s just good to have more people,” said Zorn. “They made it better than it was.”