Lightfoot Backs Pricier Chicago Police, Fire Academy

Craig Dellimore
June 25, 2019 - 5:24 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Dave Dahl

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday said the controversial Police and Fire Training Academy proposed for West Garfield Park will probably cost much more than previously predicted -- and that's okay, she says.

After touring the current academy and finding it lacking, Mayor Lightfoot said the planned replacement must be much better and will likely cost more than original estimate of at least $9.5 million.

Lightfoot said the facility should have the latest programs and technology, making it the best in the nation. Her aim? She says the City could invite police departments from other cities to train their police officers and firefighters here.

That way, she says, the facility could pay for itself. 

Ald. Emma Mitts and some community officials say the new academy could bring development and investment to the West Side. But organized opponents of the project say the money could be spent on programs and better schools for those in need.