Port Alberni’s community policing office is at Harbour Quay. City council would like to see it moved back up onto Third Avenue. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Alberni makes moving its community policing office a priority

Biggest issue is getting RCMP presence Uptown: Councillor Sauvé

Port Alberni city council is still interested in moving the Community Policing Office from its current location in Harbour Quay to the former Bread of Life Thrift Store on Third Avenue, but the cost for the move is not yet known.

Councillor Denis Sauvé, who heads the Citizens on Patrol program out of the Community Policing Office explained on Monday, Feb. 21 that the biggest issue is getting a police presence in the Uptown.

Their lease is up at the Harbour Quay on March 21, he added, and they will be holding discussions to renew that lease.

“All I know is that there are certain requirements that have to be met with the RCMP, structure-wise, for the protection of the volunteers and so forth,” he said.

Structural changes to the building would include bulletproof glass in the windows, which would be in the thousands of dollars range.

“It would be an expensive avenue to move and it wasn’t necessarily coming out of the RCMP budget,” said Sauvé. “The city would have to cover the cost.”

Mayor Mike Ruttan said that he had heard the figure of one million dollars for the cost of relocation, but when contacted for comment, Inspector Brian Hunter said that the detachment is currently in the midst of working with RCMP departmental security and RCMP property management experts to find a cost.

“We don’t have this data yet,” he said. “Once we have the data, we will provide it to the city and it will be up to them as to what they want to do.”

Hunter has stated publicly at council meetings that he wants the move to happen.

“That said, there is way more to this than just moving a desk into an abandoned building and placing a sign on the door,” he added.

The move was given ‘high priority’ on council’s status report on Monday.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

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