The Prince Albert Police Service celebrated the grand opening of its new downtown substation office Tuesday morning.

The new 15,000 square foot office, located on 10th Street East, will accommodate a number of services including child protection, victim and community services, traffic, foot patrol and bylaw.

PAPS Deputy Chief Jason Stonechild said the force was fortunate to be able to find an existing building in the downtown area that meets their needs.

“We thought outside the box,” he said. “So, we found a beautiful facility here. Built in the 1960s, it was an old bank, so very solid. It met all of our security standards. Plus, the location is excellent. It’s right in the heart of downtown, right across from city hall.”

The building was purchased for $340,000 with $600,000 budgeted for renovations.

It will house about 40 staff members.

Erin Parenteau is the Indigenous resource officer with Prince Albert Police Service and she is also with victim services.

She said the larger space provides a less intimidating environment for alleged victims to make a formal complaint.

“I think it will help, especially for our domestic violence victims,” she said. “To have that space, they might feel a lot more comfortable to provide statements or to feel comfortable to speak with us, so we can further provide them services, referrals to different services in the community.”

The new facility also includes a classroom area, larger gym and tactical training area.

(PHOTO: Prince Albert Police Service Deputy Chief Jason Stonechild speaks at the grand opening of the new substation downtown office. Photo by Fraser Needham.)