It’s indeed a new day for the local RCMP, with the official opening of their new $30 million facility this past weekend.
The two-storey, 80,000 sq. ft. detachment is located off the downtown core at 4602-51 Ave.
Bright, sophisticated-looking and spacious, the facility was open to the public last weekend. It was also an opportunity for folks to get a first-hand look at much of what won’t be publically seen once regular operations commence.
A number of dignitaries were also onhand, including Mayor Morris Flewwelling, to mark the occasion.
The new building offers far more space than the 40-year-old detachment downtown across from the Red Deer Public Library. That building was becoming increasingly cramped with the City’s growth and need for more policing services.
According to RCMP, about 200 people dropped by the downtown facility daily for various reasons. That, along with the 200 employees stationed in the building made for tight quarters.
Another plus is that the new building itself is more visible and prominent. Located off Gaetz Ave. it also allows better access for not only the public but also the steady stream of officers during their course of duties.
RCMP members, municipal support staff, plain clothes officers, victim’s services, the K-9 unit and the domestic violence unit will all be housed in the new building, which will also provide much needed cell space. Police say about 3,300 prisoners were brought in last year, so obviously the space is desperately needed.
At the opening, stand-out features also garnering attention including the impressive range of artwork done by Ingrid Koivukangas, an environmental artist who lives on Salt Spring Island.
It begins with the ceiling in the front entryway which resembles a night sky. The rounded black ceiling is dotted with tiny white lights — a replica of a night sky back when the North West Mounted Police first began operations in the local region back in June of 1875.
The work was done with the research help of the Calgary Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
Other windows in the building include several stunning photographic images set against rolling prairies and bright blue skies, heightening a sense of connection to the local region.
The structure also couldn’t be more different than the old facility in terms of space, functionality, safety and brightness with the inclusion of several large windows throughout and an overall modern design.
With its outstanding appearance and state-of-the-art features, the facility is a welcome addition to both the City and a well-deserved move up for the local RCMP.