Since 1982, Nassau County’s law enforcement officers have not had access to a permanent training facility.
Instead of working from a real police academy, the brave men and women we depend on for our safety have been shuffled through temporary facilities. Most recently, they have been renting out a classroom at an elementary school in Massapequa. Meanwhile, corrections officers are being trained in dilapidated trailers.
It is unacceptable. From the moment I took office, I began organizing officials to finalize a state-of-the-art academy worthy of the officers and communities it would serve.
The past arrangement wasn’t just undermining critical training and intelligence procedures for the 13th largest police force in the nation, it was also breaking the bank for our taxpayers. That is why I proudly stood with local officials on May 29 as we broke ground on a new police academy.
The new Nassau County Training and Intelligence Center will be located in Garden City and is slated to open in 2021. The groundbreaking marked an important moment in a years-long effort to build a state-of-the-art training facility.
Thanks to private and public support gathered through the Nassau County Police Department Foundation, we provided $3.9 million in donated services to fund the 89,000-square-foot facility, which will provide both academic and physical training for officers and will house the counterterrorism specialized unit.
The new facility will usher in a new era in police, correction officer and probation officer training, and community engagement. It will serve as a model for shared services and may provide working space with other departments in the region.
Not only will the new center continue to bring law enforcement into the 21st century, but by replacing the facility rented from Hawthorne Elementary School, taxpayers will no longer be responsible for the $700,000 a year in rent.
The new facility’s location on the campus of Nassau Community College will also improve recruitment efforts by giving the department access to the diverse student body there and will greatly benefit the college’s criminal justice program.
The center will serve as a vital resource to our entire law enforcement community and will place Nassau on the cutting edge of police training, intelligence, and counterterrorism expertise to proactively address the threats facing our region now and in the future.
Laura Curran is the Nassau County Executive.