A mockup of the proposed public safety building on Third Avenue in Port Alberni. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

A mockup of the proposed public safety building on Third Avenue in Port Alberni. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

Port Alberni chooses location for new public safety building

Community policing programs will be run out of new office

A public safety building will be opening in Port Alberni’s Uptown District in 2021.

The City of Port Alberni announced Wednesday, Dec. 2 that it has purchased a building located at 3075 Third Ave. (across the street from Alberni Community and Women’s Services Society). The building will be renovated to house the city’s public safety team (which includes bylaw services and community policing) and is scheduled to open in mid-2021.

READ MORE: City of Port Alberni plans to open public safety building in Uptown area

“It is a priority for council that the Uptown District be a safe, welcoming and vibrant area where the community can come together,” said Mayor Sharie Minions in a press release.

The city had announced in late 2019 that it was searching for a “suitable” location to house the city’s public safety team. A community policing office was previously located at Harbour Quay, but was closed down after RCMP management discovered that the building was not up to standards. A previous community policing office located across the street on Third Avenue was shut down in 2009 due to budget cuts. The Harbour Quay office opened in 2011.

READ MORE: Alberni community policing office re-opens

READ MORE: Port Alberni’s community policing office shuts down

The city included $150,000 in the 2020-2024 financial plan for renovations to the public safety building, with funds coming out of reserves.

“We heard clearly from citizens that public safety was the top priority in the Uptown area, so we looked to our neighbouring communities for successful strategies,” said Minions. “We have observed great success where protective services have come together to serve their communities in a street-level, accessible space, creating an environment where all citizens feel welcome.”

We are excited to reach this critical step and make our public safety building a reality.”

The new office will include space for other partnering agencies, such as the RCMP. A public access washroom will also be incorporated into the building.

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