Chilliwack-area RCMP are about to get a major upgrade in accommodations with the opening of the Investigative Services Building at 8311 Kiernan Drive.
A former City of Chilliwack operations structure has been renovated and an opening ceremony was held Thursday (Nov. 24).
“Today’s ceremony is the culmination of many years of designing and planning and collaboration with the City of Chilliwack to make our shared vision a reality,” said Superintendent Davy Lee, Officer-in-Charge of the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment (UFVRD). “Our success as a police service depends on strong relationships with the communities we serve. The City of Chilliwack has galvanized our relationship with this modern facility which offers a modern day response to the policing challenges we face now and in the future.”
The City of Chilliwack approved the project in 2014 and renovations happened over last three or four years. The price tag is around $4-million.
“As Chilliwack grows, we need to grow with it,” said Chilliwack mayor Ken Popove.
From the outside, the Investigative Services Building is an imposing grey structure with no identifying signage. On the inside, there’s currently nothing to see other than empty rooms and furniture. There are still weeks and likely months before the two-floor building is occupied, but it will soon provide 26,754 square feet of usable space. Several units will be liberated from the cramped confines of the Community Policing Services building that sits a couple hundred yards away at 45924 Airport Road.
The Serious Crimes and Crime Reduction units will be moving over, along with the General Investigative Support Team, crime analysts and others. Significant space is being given to exhibit (evidence) processing and storage and officers will have access to state-of-the-art technology.
“The amount of CAT-6 networking cable being used in this building is 43.3 kilometres,” said UFVRD spokesperson Sgt. Krista Vrolyk. “There’s another 3.4 kilometres of fibre optic cable and 34.4 kilometres of security cable. It’s a big project on the computer and tech side of things. The old building was not designed with a lot of the 2022 world of policing that we do, but the technology we’ll have in this building will allow our tech team to probably be the most progressive in British Columbia.”
The Airport Road detachment was built in 1982 and had 107 people working there when it opened. Today, the total UFVRD workforce numbers 223. Vrolyk started working in the Airport Road building in 2001 and said it wasn’t big enough then. It’s only gotten more claustrophobic, and once the new building is filled the old space will gets its own retrofit.
“The public will still be able to access that main detachment as they know it, and this new building is more for our internal purposes,” she said. “It has also been built with 20-plus years of projected growth in mind. So while one section may have seven people working for it now, we’ve anticipated continued growth in our community and our police force.”