The Lloydminster RCMP is approaching the one year anniversary of its new detachment building.
The police moved into their new, 6,000-square-foot headquarters last fall after outgrowing their previous 35-year-old facility. At the time of the move, the old detachment held around 45 officers and 20 full- and part-time municipal employees.
“We’re really out of space there - there’s nowhere to put anything,” Staff Sgt. Joe Wenisch said in April 2014. “That is too small a building for the amount of people we have.”
Construction of the new $17.1 million structure was stalled in the spring on 2014 when the city switched contractors. At the time the building was about 75 per cent complete, and although the delays led to the detachment opening in the fall, rather than the summer as was originally planned, there was no additional cost to taxpayers.
Const. Grant Kirzinger was present for the move and said the transition to the new detachment went well. He says the new building had significantly more space, and that it was a “good challenge” to determine the most effective and efficient use for the increased space.
“A lot of that was planned out ahead of time for us, but there are always a few things that you need to figure out once you get in,” he said.
Kirzinger says the new headquarters has a significantly improved laboratory for the Forensic Identification Section, which is the unit that examines evidence like fingerprints and footprints.
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“The space that they had was probably more than tripled. They’ve been able to get new equipment to conduct their work with,” Kirzinger said. “(It’s) important to have the technology to assist the section with coming up with timely information, as we utilize a lot of their information as leads for our investigations.”
The new detachment also has a police dog services bay for the RCMP canine unit, and the buildings includes office space used by city employees of the Department of Community Services.
“The relationship is great between the RCMP and the city employees. We don’t interact with them on a regular basis but when we do it’s great to have the support close by,” Kirzinger said. “It makes it easier.”
The old RCMP building is in the process of being handed over to the Lloydminster Community Youth Centre, which is currently based out of the upper floor of St. John’s Anglican Church.
“Were just very grateful and enjoy having the new building and the extra space,” Kirzinger said. “It was a very positive experience for us. Getting a new building always helps moral and lifts everybody’s spirits and we were very excited for the opportunity to move into this building and thankful that the city was able to make that happen for us.”