CB7 says it was not invited to Police Academy ribbon cutting

By Madina Toure

Community Board 7’s chairman is upset because the group was not invited to the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Police Academy in College Point Tuesday morning.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton hosted the ceremony to dedicate the academy on College Point Boulevard and 28th Avenue. NYPD leadership, the city Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Dr. Feniosky Pena-Mora and academy recruits also participated.

Although College Point business leaders and civic associations, such as the College Point Civic & Taxpayers Association, attended, the CB 7 board was not invited despite asking the NYPD for a grand opening ceremony for the past year, Chairman Gene Kelty said.

He only learned of the event through the office of City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside).

“I never got anything official from them (NYPD),” he said.

Lionel Morales, Vallone’s spokesman, said the office alerted civic leaders and CB 7 the day before.

“We did send out a courtesy invite the day before,” Morales said. “We assumed that the invites were done by the NYPD.”

During the ceremony, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton called the academy an “extraordinary accomplishment,” noting that on an average day, more than 3,000 NYPD members use the building, while Mayor Bill de Blasio said the academy makes people “feel pride and hope.”

The site’s groundbreaking took place in December 2009 and the first class of recruits started in January.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.