It was a long time coming, but on June 10 the Coaldale RCMP and the Town of Coaldale held an official sod turning event to mark the start of construction of the highly-anticipated Coaldale RCMP Detachment, which will be located just off Highway 3 going east towards Medicine Hat.
Representatives from "K" Division RCMP, Southern Alberta District RCMP, Coaldale RCMP, a representative from Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder’s office and the Town of Coaldale participated in the event.
This modern specialized police building will bring together the two Coaldale RCMP Detachments and have various RCMP support sections move their operations from Lethbridge to Coaldale, according to a recent media release. The new RCMP Coaldale building construction contract has just been awarded at a cost of nearly $12 million dollars.
“This event has been in the making for a number of years,” said Glenn Henry, staff sergeant
of the Coaldale RCMP Detachments, during the official sod turning event.
According to RCMP Assistant Commissioner John Ferguson, the RCMP provides policing services to approximately 1.5 million Albertans at the federal, provincial and municipal level. “Nearly 4,200 employees work out of 113 detachments throughout the province,” he said, during the sod turning event.
“Without a local detachment it is hard for us to demonstrate we’re really a part of the community. The establishment of this detachment is a great example of our commitment to the communities we serve across the province,” he said, adding the RCMP is investing and modernizing through advanced techniques and strategies.
And all of this begins at the community level, Ferguson noted. “Having a strong presence in the community is an important aspect of police work.”
Building trusting relationships with citizens ensures the Alberta RCMP delivers diverse, integrated and collaborative policing services, Ferguson said. “The new Coaldale detachment will house the existing complement of uniformed and plain clothes members from the current detachment, along with regional specialized units currently based in Lethbridge.”
This will include police dog, forensic identification and traffic services — to name a few.
Building designs have been completed and construction is anticipated to begin in July and/or August. “With an estimated completion in 2021,” he said. The detachment will serve Coaldale, Coalhurst, other Lethbridge County communities and surrounding areas.
There are several benefits to having an RCMP detachment in Coaldale, said Chief Superintendent Bernadine Chapman, during the sod turning event. “This new detachment allows all employees and members to work out of one location. Providing a high level of policing service to the communities we serve.”
“The Coaldale detachment will be built with full support from the RCMP, housed with members and employees committed to driving us toward our goal of a safer Alberta,” she noted.
Chapman added the collective work the RCMP does with its colleagues, partners, governments and community members continues to create a path for the RCMP in Alberta.
“We will continue to work with our communities identifying priorities and look forward to the day we open this detachment officially,” she said.
Alandra Corrigan, constituency co-ordinator for MP Harder’s office said the strength of the province’s police force and the safety of communities is paramount to preserving the rights and freedoms Canadians enjoy.
“The Town of Coaldale has invested wholeheartedly in this project — overcoming significant barriers to ensure the citizens of this great town enjoy the same level of protection afforded to other municipalities across Canada. As the town enters its Centennial year, the construction of the new RCMP outpost marks a commitment to stewarding the future of Coaldale and ensuring positive growth in our region for years to come,” she said.
Coaldale Mayor Kim Craig said the sod turning event is a great Centennial present for the town. “To get the RCMP detachment underway.”