Normandy reserve center to be used as a police training facility

The Phil­adelphia Me­mori­al Armed Forces Re­serve Cen­ter on Wood­haven Road in Nor­mandy will be used as a train­ing fa­cil­ity for units of the Phil­adelphia Po­lice De­part­ment.

It will be the de­part­ment’s train­ing bur­eau cam­pus, said John J. Gait­tens, deputy com­mis­sion­er for Or­gan­iz­a­tion­al Sup­port Ser­vices.

Vet­er­an of­ficers will get ad­vanced train­ing there, and re­cruits will be trained too, Gait­tens said. The fir­ing range will re­main on the Po­lice Academy prop­erty on State Road.

The prop­erty, now owned by the U.S.  De­part­ment of De­fense, will be trans­ferred to the po­lice de­part­ment on Ju­ly 1, Gait­tens said.

The de­part­ment will not be charged for the 9 acres it is get­ting through the fed­er­al Base Re­align­ment and Clos­ure Pro­gram. The city has been work­ing on ac­quir­ing the prop­erty since 2006, he said.

The city will ren­ov­ate the 80,000-square-foot build­ing and 9,000-square-foot gar­age to suit its needs. That will take about a year, he said.

He ad­ded that po­lice dis­patch­ers will also be trained at the fa­cil­ity, at 2838-98 Wood­haven Road, and po­lice ra­dio — the Crime In­form­a­tion Cen­ter — will be loc­ated there too. 

In Ju­ly, after the Army and Mar­ines move out, a se­cur­ity de­tail will be put in place, Gait­tens said.

Mem­bers of the Nor­mandy Civic As­so­ci­ation dis­cussed the fed­er­al build­ing’s new use dur­ing their May 18 meet­ing at the Nor­com Com­munity Cen­ter.

Res­id­ents said they were con­cerned about in­creased traffic passing through their neigh­bor­hood. Those traffic wor­ries were the same as they had been in Feb­ru­ary 2007 when a po­lice train­ing fa­cil­ity was first be­ing dis­cussed as a use for the re­serve cen­ter.

The prop­erty’s main en­trance is on Wood­haven Road, but that can be reached only by go­ing through the small neigh­bor­hood’s Nor­com Road.

An­oth­er en­trance is gated at the end of Joseph Kelly Ter­race, a private road that has 17 res­id­ences on one side and a wooded area owned by the North­east Air­port on the oth­er.

One Joseph Kelly Ter­race res­id­ent said there is an ease­ment on his deed that al­lows for mil­it­ary traffic on the street, but no oth­er traffic.

Gait­tens said he be­lieves there is a plan to put in an ac­cess road from Thornton Road, but he doesn’t know if money for such a road has been budgeted. ••

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