FORT ST. JOHN -- The City of Fort St. John held the grand opening for the new RCMP detachment today.

The event started at 11a.m. at the detachment. The new office is located at 10712 – 100th street and is three storeys tall. Residents, city officials and first responders were among the many people who attended the event.

The new detachment replaces the old one, just south of the building. Officers have been operating out of the previous detachment for over 35 years.

“The old building was built in 1982 or 1983. Half of the people worked in a windowless basement, and we didn't have the infrastructure to support all of the computers and electronics that we now utilize,” says Inspector Anthony Hanson.

Mounties in the Fort St. John RCMP moved into their new building in late August when it was fully operational. Construction started on the detachment in the spring of 2020 and finished up this summer.

The detachment houses over 90 municipal and provincial staff. It features nail-laminated timber, mineral wool wall insulation and fibreglass. The new net-zero building consumes over 80 per cent less energy so it will save taxpayers over $60,000 annually. The city says it maximizes both economic and environmental benefits.

“I'm really excited about this building. I truly am,” says Mayor Lilia Hansen. “It is a very dignified-looking building and it's going to serve our community for years to come.”

The new building cost $51.4 million to complete. The city aims to help recruitment and retention with modern design.

Inspector Hanson agrees, “It's certainly a selling feature as we seek to attract or simply members to come to the north and try the northern experience in terms of both lifestyle and policing.”

RCMP is also introducing new services including a domestic violence supervisor. “Domestic violence is obviously endemic within society. It's designated as one of the priorities by the province of British Columbia and our investigation standards are actually enshrined in legislation in British Columbia,” says Inspector Hanson.

According to the city, the new building aims to set an example for other cities. They will be repurposing the old detachment for other uses.