Voter-approved police-fire training center moves ahead in Oklahoma City
Construction of the police-fire training center authorized by Oklahoma City voters is expected to cost $33.2 million.
The city council this month authorized the Public Works director to negotiate a design contract with Oklahoma City architects ADG.
The complex will include a 64,000-square-foot main building and K-9 kennels.
Former City Manager Jim Couch authorized a study of training facility needs in 2015. The Police Academy is a seven-month course that provides more comprehensive training "than any other agency in the state," former Chief Bill Citty said at the time.
Hopes were an expanded training center would help the Police Department overcome a chronic inability to fill current vacancies and expand authorized strength to 1,311 uniform positions as recommended in the 2013 update of the chief's staffing study.
Aspects of police training -- particularly de-escalation techniques -- are one focus of a law enforcement task force appointed by Mayor David Holt in the wake of national protests over police killings of Black men.
Voters approved funding for the new training complex in the September 2017 bond election. The new Police Headquarters dedicated in 2015 was financed with bonds approved by voters in 2007.
The new training center will be built in the vicinity of NE 4 and Bryant, east of Interstate 35 near Douglass Park, close by the North Canadian River.