Center dedicated to CPD Commander Paul Bauer and CFD Firefighter MaShawn Plummer
CHICAGO — Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined Chicago Police Department Superintendent David O. Brown, Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt, Alderman Emma Mitts (37th Ward), Dr. Elizabeth Lockhart, and community partners to cut the ribbon on the recently completed Public Safety Training Center (PSTC). This cutting-edge training center will provide the cities’ first responders with the most modern facilities to hone their skills for emergency response situations, investigations, and tactical operations.
“To make Chicago the safest big city in the country, we must invest in both our first responders and in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “The Public Safety Training Center is a demonstration of these commitments, and was created in partnership with public safety experts and the community in mind. The PSTC will help deliver a new generation of police officers and firefighters, and the businesses developed around it will contribute to more meaningful investments in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood.”
The Public Safety Training Center features a six-story tower with each floor simulating different environment firefighters encounter daily, including apartments, hotels, and office buildings. The center also includes an indoor and outdoor scenario village replicating a four-way intersection common in most neighborhoods. The departments will use this scenario village to train first responders on how to respond to various emergency calls.
“Opening the new Public Safety Training Center represents a public safety milestone for the city of Chicago with collaborative education, and sophisticated training and tools for the next generation of first responders and current police officers alike,” said CPD Superintendent David O. Brown. “This campus is both an investment in the community and active part of this community that will engage and inspire youth and grow trust while connecting residents.”
“Having proudly served 32 years so far in the fire department, I understand fully what a firehouse can mean to a community and I’m confident this facility will be an anchor in this neighborhood,” said Commissioner Nance-Holt. “Sharing this location with Boys & Girls Club is truly a blessing. As children are coming and going from their club activities, they might get a chance to see first responders who they can relate to and hopefully spark a dream to one day serve this great city as a Firefighter, Paramedic, or Police Officer.”
The facility sits on a 30.4-acre former rail yard that, prior to the City’s purchase in 2017, had been sitting vacant for more than 40 years. In addition to the main academy building, the site will also host two minority-owned restaurants, Peach’s and Culvers, as well as a 27,000-square-foot Boys and Girls Club that are all slated to open this summer. The purpose of these establishments is to provide an economic pillar point for the community. Combined, the PSTC, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Culver’s and Peach’s restaurants represent approximately $170M in public and private investments in this community.
“I’m proud the Public Safety Training Center is in West Humboldt Park and that our community will play a role in serving hundreds of recruits tasked with protecting the city,” said Alderman Emma Mitts (37th Ward). “The PSTC is critical to public safety and training firefighters and police officers. Additionally, the facility is attracting businesses like Culver’s and Peach’s restaurants and organizations like the Boys and Girls Club to our neighborhood, ensuring more job opportunities for our residents.”
The PSTC is situated between two Invest South/West – one in Austin and the other in West Humboldt Park – that will see $95M in new private investment in the coming years. This investment will radiate from this building toward Austin and West Humboldt Park, and vice versa, connecting neighborhoods and creating a lively corridor with new businesses, living-wage jobs, and better housing.