Police station expansion is almost completed

The building expansion for the Estevan Police Service (EPS) successfully went through the substantial completion inspection last week and is now in the final stages of construction.

Police Chief Paul Ladouceur said there were some minor deficiencies that were pointed out during the inspection and will be corrected in the near future.

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"Whenever you take on a project of this size and scope, there are going to be these little things, like small defects in a wall or a light that's flickering or something like that. There were no major deficiencies noted.

"Everything is ready to go. We had the fire chief and the deputy fire chief in to do the fire inspection from their end. And they were satisfied. We are working on fulfilling their recommendations."

Ladouceur added that they also already had MuniCode Services down to ensure that the building meets all codes.

"They are ready to sign off on occupancy. We have a couple of things that we have to complete before that, but other than those, we are ready to start occupying the facility."

The substantial completion inspection involved the consultant, the architect who designed the building, representatives of the contractor, Quorex Construction, and a number of experts on various systems and controls in place at the police station expansion.

After the deficiencies are corrected, the EPS will start moving furniture, phone lines and record management system over to the new building, and after the physical move they will have an official opening with all health safety measures in place, presumably at the end of February or early March.

Ladouceur said that like with any project of this scale, there were some minor issues during the construction, which they were able to address through the process.

"There was nothing major. Everybody worked very well together … I can't speak highly enough about Quorex when it comes to the work they did and the working relationship that we've had with them. I know that they tried to use a lot of local labour as well on the project, which is nice for the local economy as well."

The police station expansion will serve the community for many years, and Ladouceur pointed out that the need for the facility was determined by the professional committee, as the Estevan Police Service members for a long time were working in subpar conditions.

"We did an assessment. This process started in 2015. We had consultants come down from Toronto to do an assessment on our needs as a police service and our safety and security, and what our building needed to provide adequate and effective policing well into the future for this community."

Ladouceur added that in the contemporary world, law enforcement agencies don't occupy buildings with too many windows due to safety reasons, and the expansion was built with all the realities in mind.

"We are following the professionals that make these assessments on the daily basis, and this is a good, long-term community investment."

With the results of the assessment on hand, the police board went on to try to find a solution to implement the recommendations at the lowest cost to the public and the community, keeping in mind the state of the economy the city is in. While Ladouceur said that they managed to keep the cost comparably low at $2,159,000; he also noted that no matter what state the economy is in, there are pros and cons to completing the necessary project of this kind and size.

"Good or bad economy, and it's certainly troubling with the pandemic now, the community still needs the police service. We have to function. There are pros to building when the economy is good. But there are pros to building when the economy is not so good as well because you are keeping people employed, you are providing some local labour, you are probably getting a better cost to the project … You can argue both sides. It's terrible times to build when the economy is bad, it's a terrible time to build when the economy is good," Ladouceur said.

"But at the end of the day, this is the building I think the community will be very proud of and it will serve the community well after I'm gone as chief and for many, many years to come."

The annex will house support services, which supplement frontline patrol officers and also provide support to the community. This includes the criminal investigation branch that is currently working out of a room in the basement, the drug intelligence office that's working out of a storage closet in the basement, the court services, which has two people occupying a one-person room, the deputy chief's office, which is currently too small to have a printer in there, and the social worker's and bylaw officer's rooms. Besides, all the administrative offices will be moved to the new part of the building along with the filing system, which is currently stored in boxes in the garage.

The main police building will remain the point of entry for the public, but it will also see some improvements to the quality of services provided. The changes will allow space for a public washroom with an entrance from the lobby. Plus, there will be a public interview room with access from the front lobby.

"Up until this point, if we were interviewing people we had to bring them into the secure portion of our facility, which really shouldn't be happening in this day and age, both for the public's safety and the officers' safety. If someone had to use the washroom, we had to invite them into the facility, too," Ladouceur said.

Moreover, the expansion will allow for more decent conditions of work for all members. Ladouceur expects that once the expansion is in use, these changes will affect the general work atmosphere and consequently the quality of service provided to the community.

"Whenever you have a better work environment you often see things like morale increase, service delivery increase. If you are in a comfortable work environment, proficiency naturally goes up," said Ladouceur, adding that the improvements to the filing system will also allow for faster processing.

"I think service will improve. I think speed will improve. Efficiency will improve. And more importantly, safety will improve."

Ladouceur said that he was very grateful to all people and agencies involved with the project.

He also added that if the public has any questions about the facility, he always invites people to call him at the office and he will provide all the answers.new police building annex is almost completed.

The building expansion for the Estevan Police Service (EPS) successfully went through the substantial completion inspection last week and is now in the final stages of construction.

Police Chief Paul Ladouceur said there were some minor deficiencies that were pointed out during the inspection and will be corrected in the near future.

"Whenever you take on a project of this size and scope, there are going to be these little things, like small defects in a wall or a light that's flickering or something like that. There were no major deficiencies noted.

"Everything is ready to go. We had the fire chief and the deputy fire chief in to do the fire inspection from their end. And they were satisfied. We are working on fulfilling their recommendations."

Ladouceur added that they also already had MuniCode Services down to ensure that the building meets all codes.

"They are ready to sign off on occupancy. We have a couple of things that we have to complete before that, but other than those, we are ready to start occupying the facility."

The substantial completion inspection involved the consultant, the architect who designed the building, representatives of the contractor, Quorex Construction, and a number of experts on various systems and controls in place at the police station expansion.

After the deficiencies are corrected, the EPS will start moving furniture, phone lines and record management system over to the new building, and after the physical move they will have an official opening with all health safety measures in place, presumably at the end of February or early March.

Ladouceur said that like with any project of this scale, there were some minor issues during the construction, which they were able to address through the process.

"There was nothing major. Everybody worked very well together … I can't speak highly enough about Quorex when it comes to the work they did and the working relationship that we've had with them. I know that they tried to use a lot of local labour as well on the project, which is nice for the local economy as well."

The police station expansion will serve the community for many years, and Ladouceur pointed out that the need for the facility was determined by the professional committee, as the Estevan Police Service members for a long time were working in subpar conditions.

"We did an assessment. This process started in 2015. We had consultants come down from Toronto to do an assessment on our needs as a police service and our safety and security, and what our building needed to provide adequate and effective policing well into the future for this community."

Ladouceur added that in the contemporary world, law enforcement agencies don't occupy buildings with too many windows due to safety reasons, and the expansion was built with all the realities in mind.

"We are following the professionals that make these assessments on the daily basis, and this is a good, long-term community investment."

With the results of the assessment on hand, the police board went on to try to find a solution to implement the recommendations at the lowest cost to the public and the community, keeping in mind the state of the economy the city is in. While Ladouceur said that they managed to keep the cost comparably low at $2,159,000; he also noted that no matter what state the economy is in, there are pros and cons to completing the necessary project of this kind and size.

"Good or bad economy, and it's certainly troubling with the pandemic now, the community still needs the police service. We have to function. There are pros to building when the economy is good. But there are pros to building when the economy is not so good as well because you are keeping people employed, you are providing some local labour, you are probably getting a better cost to the project … You can argue both sides. It's terrible times to build when the economy is bad, it's a terrible time to build when the economy is good," Ladouceur said.

"But at the end of the day, this is the building I think the community will be very proud of and it will serve the community well after I'm gone as chief and for many, many years to come."

The annex will house support services, which supplement frontline patrol officers and also provide support to the community. This includes the criminal investigation branch that is currently working out of a room in the basement, the drug intelligence office that's working out of a storage closet in the basement, the court services, which has two people occupying a one-person room, the deputy chief's office, which is currently too small to have a printer in there, and the social worker's and bylaw officer's rooms. Besides, all the administrative offices will be moved to the new part of the building along with the filing system, which is currently stored in boxes in the garage.

The main police building will remain the point of entry for the public, but it will also see some improvements to the quality of services provided. The changes will allow space for a public washroom with an entrance from the lobby. Plus, there will be a public interview room with access from the front lobby.

"Up until this point, if we were interviewing people we had to bring them into the secure portion of our facility, which really shouldn't be happening in this day and age, both for the public's safety and the officers' safety. If someone had to use the washroom, we had to invite them into the facility, too," Ladouceur said.

Moreover, the expansion will allow for more decent conditions of work for all members. Ladouceur expects that once the expansion is in use, these changes will affect the general work atmosphere and consequently the quality of service provided to the community.

"Whenever you have a better work environment you often see things like morale increase, service delivery increase. If you are in a comfortable work environment, proficiency naturally goes up," said Ladouceur, adding that the improvements to the filing system will also allow for faster processing.

"I think service will improve. I think speed will improve. Efficiency will improve. And more importantly, safety will improve."

Ladouceur said that he was very grateful to all people and agencies involved with the project.

He also added that if the public has any questions about the facility, he always invites people to call him at the office and he will provide all the answers.

The city used the $1.6 million it received from the provincial government's municipal economic enhancement program for the police station expansion, covering most of the project's cost.

 
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