City Leaders on Thursday, Oct. 29, celebrated groundbreaking on the new state-of-the-art Firing Range housed at the New Orleans Police Department Municipal Training Academy in New Orleans East.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell and NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson , District B Councilman Jay Banks, NOFD Superintendent Roman Nelson, 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 were on hand for the groundbreaking.
The $3.5 million construction project is funded 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.”
The Municipal Training Academy (MTA) New Orleans East Facility, located at 13400 Old Gentilly Rd., is a multi-agency training facility 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.
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. Since Katrina, NOPD has conducted its firearms re-qualification at facilities outside of Orleans Parish. The redevelopment of this facility will allow NOPD to bring this service to Orleans Parish.
“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.”