Demonstrators Blast Plan For $95M First-Responder Academy

(CBS) – Mayor Emanuel wants to spend $95 million on a new training facility on the West Side.

Some activist groups are outraged and say that money should be spent on schools, kids, and communities.

CBS 2’s Audrina Bigos reports.

They’re chanting, “No cop academy” on what they’re calling commuter “train takeovers.”

These Chicago youth are also organizing teach-ins and collective call-ins to aldermen, and they’re canvassing the streets.

It’s all to protest a nearly $100 million public safety training academy for police officers, firefighters and medics.

“Ninety-five million dollars should go to schools, and youth and homeless people and mental health clinics,” says Nita Tennyson of Assata’s Daughters.

The new training facility, partially financed by money made on the sale of old facilities, will sit on a 30-acre vacant lot on Chicago Avenue in the West Garfield Park neighborhood. Plans include a shooting range, classrooms, a dive training pool, a skid pad and space for “active shooter” scenarios.

Emanuel says the project in part will help Chicago prepare for possible terror attacks.

Ald. Emma Mitts of the 37th Ward supports the project. She says it will add police presence in an area where it’s needed.

“I’m excited for it,” Mitts says.

She says it will add police presence in an area where it’s needed.

Construction is expected to begin in 2018.

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