Excerpts from dnainfo.com

Plans for a state-of-the-art $95 million training facility for Chicago police and fire recruits advanced Wednesday after winning the endorsement of a key city panel.

While the Chicago Plan Commission unanimously approved the plan to buy the 30-acre site at 4301 W. Chicago Ave. in Garfield Park for $9.6 million, a coalition of groups rallied outside the mayor’s office urging that the plan be shelved and the money spent on schools and community redevelopment efforts.

The People’s Response Team, which is part of the No Cop Academy effort, said the money would be better spent on restoring cuts made to Chicago Public Schools’ budgets or reopening mental health clinics closed by Emanuel.

About $20 million from the sale of the Goose Island Fleet and Facilities operations center will be used to buy the long-vacant land in the 37th Ward and start construction on the state-of-the-art facility. With the backing of Emanuel, the City Council is expected in October to finalize the sale of the North Branch property for $104.7 million to Sterling Bay.

The facility will replace the police training academy at 1300 W. Jackson Blvd., built in 1976; the fire prevention training facility at 1010 S. Clinton St., built in 1950; and the Fire Academy South at 1338 S. Clinton St., built in 1965, officials said.

In the next two years, Emanuel has promised to add 970 positions to the police department: 516 police officers, 200 detectives, 112 sergeants, 50 lieutenants and 92 field training officers. The department also plans to fill 500 vacant positions.

thanks Dennis