City to use CCAC facility for police academy
The City of Pittsburgh is close to finalizing plans to build an interim police training facility in a vacant building at the Community College of Allegheny County, replacing the city’s old training academy site on Washington Boulevard in Highland Park.
The former facility was plagued by multiple challenges, including having only two classrooms; limited parking; limited restrooms; no space for physical fitness or defensive tactic training; and was prone to flooding.
A new facility leased from CCAC is expected to open September 1 in advance of hosting the next class of police recruits, as well as hosting ongoing training mandated for veteran police personnel.
The three story, 32,000-square-foot building – site of CCAC’s former arts center – is larger, offers parking and ample classroom space. Police training staff will be able to place driving and firearms video simulators in the building, as well as use classrooms for exercises on emergency scenarios. The training academy’s firing range will remain in Highland Park, however.
Mayor William Peduto and other City of Pittsburgh officials, including Public Safety and Bureau of Police personnel, toured the facility last week. The lease is subject to approvals by the CCAC board and Pittsburgh City Council, and is set for a three-year term with options to extend the lease for three more years.
The city expects to spend about $241,000 on the facility this year, which includes lease payments to CCAC plus capital upgrades including demolition work, and wiring the building for an IT network.
The city expects to be in the CCAC facility until a permanent location for the Public Safety Training and Administrative Facility has been identified by the Office of Management and Budget.
The next class of police recruits graduates tomorrow, bringing the total of on-duty police to roughly 850 officers. Another class started in March. The new facility will allow for another recruit class to begin training in September, and another to start by the end of the year