Cantrell Breaks Ground on $3.5M NOPD Municipal Training Academy

Nopd Firing Range Img CropNEW ORLEANS — From the City of New Orleans:

On Oct. 28, Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Superintendent Shaun Ferguson of the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) were joined by District B Councilmember Jay H. Banks, Superintendent Roman Nelson of the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD), Criminal Justice Commissioner Tenisha T. Stevens, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation Melanie Talia, and a host of City officials to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony on the new state-of-the-art Firing Range housed at the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) Municipal Training Academy in New Orleans East. Funding for the $3.5 million construction project is allocated through City Bonds.   

“We are breaking ground on a project that is long overdue and will provide our New Orleans Police Department with the tools and resources that it truly needs to ensure that officer training continues to be second to none in the United States,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “We know that this facility was built in 1987, and that it hasn’t been fully functional since prior to Hurricane Katrina. I’m so pleased that we continue to make progress, and we’re going to deliver this site to NOPD and NOFD in the first quarter of the new year.”  

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“Today, we officially kick off the $3.5 million dollar bond-funded NOPD Training Academy,” said Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Infrastructure Ramsey Green. “Last year alone, we completed 15 new public facility projects, all of which make our city more resilient to the kinds of challenges we will continue to face. I am grateful to Capital Projects Administration (CPA) Director Vincent Smith for his leadership and CPA Project Manager Robert Vallejo for managing the design and construction teams that will get this critical training facility completed.” 

“This Groundbreaking is truly a significant milestone for the City of New Orleans and the New Orleans Police Department. Officers have been patiently travelling outside of New Orleans to maintain their firearm qualifications,” said Criminal Justice Commissioner, Tenisha Stevens. “The new facility demonstrates Mayor Cantrell’s commitment and priority to NOPD by providing them with the tools they need to continue to protect and serve our citizens and visitors.” 

The Municipal Training Academy (MTA) New Orleans East Facility located at 13400 Old Gentilly Road is a multi-agency training facility primarily used by NOPD and NOFD to train personnel. As a part of the Police Academy, new NOPD recruits, officers and supervisors will utilize the facility and firing range once completed, for the first time in more than 16 years.  

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“This is a really exciting step forward and a long time coming. The significant upgrades to the MTA East facility will not only help us train the most qualified police force anywhere, but it will also aid in retention and recruitment of high-quality officers,” said Councilmember Jay H. Banks, District B. “Tactical police driving, and firearm training are important skills to build, and now our officers can do just that in our very own facility.”

The MTA East facility also houses the Range Administration Building which includes classrooms for annual in-service training, firearms and driving training, as well as a storage facility for supplies and equipment. On site, the building also provides space for the 55OLEplus Driving Simulation System produced by DORON Precision Systems, Inc., which is a regional asset available for simulated driving training in cars or trucks by NOPD, NOFD, the New Orleans Emergency Services and other regional public safety agencies.  

It has also been used as the location for the NOFD fire training academy since 1989. NOPD currently provides Tactical Police Driving at this facility, which is conducted on a concrete driving track, and for NOPD firearms training programs. NOFD fire apparatus operators also utilize this facility for training.   

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The MTA sustained major damages from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and received minimal repairs to provide limited training academy support functions. In 2019, Commissioner Stevens spearheaded planning to bring the NOPD Firing Range back to Orleans Parish. This was and remains a priority for the Cantrell Administration, which is heavily focused on public safety and supporting our public safety officials. Additionally, NOPD officers need a facility to facilitate their firearms re-qualification and have been doing so since Katrina at facilities outside of Orleans Parish. The redevelopment of this facility will allow NOPD to bring this service to Orleans Parish.

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