GREAT VIEW - Red Deer city RCMP Supt. Brian Simpson looks over the front entry area of the new $30 million police station downtown.

GREAT VIEW - Red Deer city RCMP Supt. Brian Simpson looks over the front entry area of the new $30 million police station downtown.

New RCMP headquarters weeks away from opening

Facility will provide much needed space and more professional atmosphere

The new $30 million RCMP building in Red Deer is set to open its doors at the beginning of March.

The new two-storey, 8,000 sq. ft. detachment is located at 4602-51 Ave.

“The location in the downtown is very fitting,” said Red Deer city RCMP Supt. Brian Simpson. “The detachment will be accessible and noticeable and that’s good for the public to see and it also helps in terms of functionality for us.”

The new building boasts a bright and roomy atmosphere. RCMP members, municipal support staff, plain clothes officers, victim’s services and the domestic violence unit will be working in the facility.

“About 200 employees will be housed in this building,” said Simpson.

The current downtown RCMP station is almost 40 years old.

“We’ve outgrown our existing building,” said Simpson. “We do have the north building and we’ve got members up their working. But we’ve pretty well used every nook and cranny at the downtown detachment. We do need some space.”

When first walking into the new facility, the entrance is open, bright and offers room for people waiting.

“We get about 200 people a day in the RCMP detachment, so this extra room is extremely needed,” said Simpson. “We will also be accessible for those in a wheelchair which for us is a big deal as our current building does not accommodate those folks.”

Front counter clerks will also be more protected as sliding glass windows shield them from the general public.

The new building will also provide much needed cell space as the current facility only has four cells and the RCMP’s new facility will have 15 cells.

As well, the satellite RCMP station located on 67 St. in conjunction with the Emergency Services building has two cells.

“We had about 3,300 prisoners last year, so unfortunately these cells are needed,” said Simpson.

The new cells are also secured by large, heavy doors. Currently, the cells at the RCMP detachment are barred.

“Our existing cells don’t meet code anymore as the bars serve as a hazard for hanging,” said Simpson.

The exhibit room in the new facility is also four times larger than the one at the downtown detachment.

“We will have two DNA drying rooms as well as a chamber that is ventilated which will process drugs that we seize,” said Simpson. “It’s a much healthier environment for our members.”

The new RCMP station also provides an area for the K-9 unit.

“We will have kennels for the dogs and wash bays for them as well,” said Simpson. “It’s important because they are part of the team.”

One noticeable feature of the building from both inside and out are the murals on the windows.

“The artwork, the design and the thought process that have gone into this building definitely add a level of professionalism,” said Simpson.

Additional bays of computers and more office space as well as the development of the second storey will provide for longer term expansion.

The building has also been built to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standard. This means there are water efficient landscaping, lighting sensor controls, low flow showers and toilets and high efficiency mechanical and electrical systems, among others.

Meanwhile, the new RCMP building is expected to open in March with a public open house to be held on March 4 and 5.

“We want to say thank you to the City of Red Deer,” said Simpson. “This is a great facility and it is a lot of money but I am very comfortable in saying it’s money well invested and it will show dividends in the very near future.”