Construction Starts on New Police Academy in Queens

City officials have broken ground for a new 30-acre police academy in College Point, Queens. The project will consolidate training facilities that are currently spread out across the city. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says the current academy on East 20th Street in Manhattan has become overcrowded and isn't equipped to train members of the force for 21st century challenges.

"Our police officers have driven crime down year after year even as they've taken on the added responsibility of counterterrorism. They deserve a police academy equal to their accomplishments and their dedication," Kelly says.

Construction began today on the first phase of the project, which includes classrooms and tactical gyms that simulate actual street conditions and is estimated to cost $750 million. The academy is expected to open in 2013 and the mayor estimates it will create 2,000 construction jobs. Subsequent phases will include a new firing range, a tactical training village, and a vehicle training course.