New CPD Facility At O'Hare Airport Makes History

Craig Dellimore
January 14, 2020 - 1:30 pm
The city cut the ribbon Tuesday on a new facility for CPD personnel assigned to O’Hare International Airport that will provide state-of-the-art technology and make history.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot/Twitter


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The city cut the ribbon Tuesday on a new facility for CPD personnel assigned to O’Hare International Airport that will provide state-of-the-art technology and make history.

The old O’Hare police facility stands in the way of Terminal 5’s expansion. Commander Bill Mullane said the new building is a needed upgrade.

"Some of the upgrades to our building include fiber optic Internet lines, meeting space, training space, a workout facility, and dedicated space for our specalized units," Mullane said, including police dogs.

The new facility, built by BOWA Construction is part of "O’Hare 21", the historic plan by the City of Chicago and its airline partners to transform O’Hare for the 21st century, and maintain its status as the country’s most-connected airport. More than 200 construction and support jobs were created during the course of the project, the Mayor's office said in a statement.

And Mayor Lori Lightfoot stressed that BOWA Construction, a local and minority-owned firm, led the team that transformed an old warehouse into the new CPD facility. She said BOWA has become the first African-American prime contractor for an airport project in state history.

“The new Chicago Police Department facility at O'Hare International Airport is not only the latest milestone for the O’Hare 21 project, but it demonstrates our continuing commitment to expand procurement opportunities for businesses owned by people of color, women and individuals with disabilities," said Mayor Lightfoot, in a statement. "BOWA Construction—a City-certified Minority Business Enterprise—led the coordination of several sub-contractors to transform a former warehouse into a state-of-the-art CPD facility, which will improve airport safety as O'Hare continues to grow."

And she said it’s high time the city offered more opportunities like this.

Bowa CEO Nosa Ehimwenman choked up thinking of the sacrifices his parents made for him to get there, especially his father.

"Driving a taxi to put food on the table, and yes, my dad picked up passengers from this airport to make sure that we ate," he said.

He pleaded with officials to make the way easier for minority companies that follow.

BOWA Construction is a general contractor and construction management firm based on Chicago’s South Side. It is a City-certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and a newly-appointed U.S. Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program participant, and the first African-American prime contractor to be awarded an airport concessions construction contract in Chicago, the Mayor's office said.

“We are excited to have completed the new CPD station at O’Hare International Airport. This is a tremendous accomplishment for the team, and it would not have happened without the team’s efforts and hard work,” said Nosa Ehimwenman, president and CEO of BOWA Construction, said in a statement. “Working in a mission critical environment like Aviation isn’t easy, and I am very thankful for Jamie Rhee’s leadership and her team’s support in creating an environment of inclusion in Aviation. We are looking forward to working on O’Hare 21 and other future projects.”

Over the next decade, the $8.5 billion O’Hare 21 expansion program will totally transform the airport by delivering 25 percent more gate capacity, a more streamlined passenger experience, and enable O’Hare’s future growth to better connect travelers to Chicago and Chicago to the world, the Mayor's office said in a statement. The largest expansion in O’Hare history, the project includes a $1.2 billion expansion of Terminal 5, which makes way for construction of the new and fully modern O’Hare Global Terminal and O’Hare Global Concourse. Over the course of the project, it is estimated that more than 60,000 construction and support jobs will be created. The expansion will be paid for by airport revenues, not taxpayer dollars.