More than five years and $13 million later, the city’s brand new, state-of-the-art police headquarters has officially opened its doors.
Roughly 70 people attended the ribbon-cutting Friday morning at Brandon Police Service’s new station at the corner of 10th Street and Victoria Avenue.
“Better things come to those who are patient,” Chief Keith Atkinson said to the crowd.
“It has been a long journey. I arrived here in 2007, almost five years ago we purchased this building.
“It has been a long and arduous task, but it is done, and I think it’s done, very, very well.”
Mayor Shari Decter Hirst, as well as Brandon East NDP MLA Drew Caldwell and Brandon West Conservative MLA Reg Helwer attended the event.
“I want to congratulate Brandon Police Service for their outstanding new home and especially for police Chief Atkinson, for the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours that it has taken to bring this project to conclusion,” Decter Hirst said.
Located at one of the busiest intersections of the city, Decter Hirst said the headquarters will be able to provide the highest possible level of service to the residents of Brandon.
“Public safety is the core function of local government,” she said.
Representatives from EllisDon Corp. and Calnitsky Associates Architects were also at the grand opening to celebrate a job well done.
“The planning of this facility and the transformation of this site from a grocery store, a bank and a liquor outlet … to a state-of-the-art police facility has been many, many years in the making,” said architect Ed Calnitsky.
The new station will be in full operation as of Monday morning.
“The night shift will be going to work at the old building Sunday night and in the morning, the day shift will be coming here,” Atkinson said.
“In between … all the Internet connections and all the connections that we need for our records management systems will be done in the early (morning) hours.”
The new station faced some delays during the construction phase, but Atkinson said they are very close to the projected cost.
More than 3,000 people have taken advantage of the public tours of the new facility over the past week.
The building spans 42,000 square feet, which is a major upgrade from the 18,000 square foot building at the Ninth Street location.
“It’s not only just the space, but it’s the specialized space,” Atkinson said.
“The holding area is just incredible. In our old facility, prisoners would regularly walk through amongst everybody. This way they’re confined to one area. We’ve got a very, very good forensic identification area, we’ve got a proper examination garage for vehicles that get seized, and it’s just a modern building.”
Atkinson is thrilled about the state-of-the-art technology and surveillance systems.
A request for proposals will soon go out for the old station on 10th Street.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 21, 2012