OPP take possession of new detachment building

Merna Emara

The OPP take possession of their new detachment building on 200 McIrvine Rd, today. The movement of equipment and preparations for the staff switchover will happen next, with an official move-in date of Oct.7.
Insp. Nathan Schmidt said COVID-19 is impacting their ability to have a public grand opening. He said they are working with Infrastructure Ontario to determine a grand opening date.
Schmidt said the detachment comes with all the amenities of a modern detachment. The new building has video cameras and alarm systems, making it more secure than their current location, Schmidt said.
The new building also has two entrances; one for the public, with a parking lot and another for the police officers to enter with their cars.
The new detachment building is about 18,000 sq. ft. and can accommodate more officers and public members than the current detachment.
Schmidt said the new detachment building has two female cells in a female section, two youth cells in a youth section and two male cells in a male section. Schmidt added that there is a large cell in the male section that can accommodate five to eight people.
“The security area is the most predominant thing. There is a full guard station, so they actually have a proper booking area and a proper place for people to talk to their lawyers. They have secure interview room,” Schmidt said.
“They also have a breathalyzed room and a fingerprint room. It also has a built-in sally port so prisoners would be driven right inside the building and be brought directly into the secure area, where currently, they have to be walked in from outside of the building. It is very secure.”
In total, the new building can accommodate 12 to 15 prisoners, versus the old one, that could hold three to five people.
The new detachment building also has two board rooms, one of which is called a soft interview room.
“It is a room for victims and it has a couch and a chair. It is a comfortable environment. It is also located in an area so the public does not have to walk through the entire office,” Schmidt said.
“There is an area for people to come in and meet with the officers in private in the soft interview room. It is more in tune with victim support and creating an environment where people will be willing to talk to the police.”
The new building took a little over a year to build, but Schmidt said COVID-19 did not slow down the construction progress.
The detachment is calling this the OPP Modernization phase. This project is one of nine others that will be tackled under a $182-million fund. This is the second phase in the project that tackles OPP buildings that are on average over 40 to 60 years of age and past their expected life span.
These nine new buildings should achieve the silver certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is an internationally recognized rating system that recognizes buildings that are environmentally friendly.