New detachment almost ready for officers

The RCMP is getting ready to move into its new digs.  

The $40 million Kelowna Police Services Building at Richter Street and Clement Avenue has been under construction since 2015 and will be mostly complete by March 24.

The keys to the building will then be handed over to the RCMP, which will work on security and moving-in, before officially operating out of the building in June.  

With 100,000 square feet the building is nearly double the current RCMP detachment on Doyle Avenue, which was built when Kelowna’s population was a mere 14,000 in 1962.

During a media tour of the building on Friday, RCMP Reserve Constable and Building Co-ordinator, Kerry Solinsky said several units, including Traffic Services, Police Dog Services and Forensic Identification Services, will now fit under one roof.

“Bringing everybody into one area is of course going to make a huge difference on the functionality of police work and being able to work side by side again without being spread all over the place, so it’s extremely important that we got this new building”

Approximately 190 RCMP officers and 90 support staff will be working out of the new detachment, which has been purposefully designed to allow for future expansions if needed. With 29 cells, it also has a little more room for prisoners than the downtown detachment which has 22. 

Police work itself is also expected to be more efficient in the new building. Although Solinksy didn’t want to specify, the building has modern tech features the current one does not. 

“We have features in here that we should’ve been using in the past that we’re able to use now, so again, with the advent of the new building, it allows us to keep up with all the new technologies and also the news ways of investigation”

The building on Doyle will eventually be demolished, although when that will happen or what will take over its place is yet to be determined.