More than 650 members of the Saskatoon Police Service moved into their new home this summer, as the new Saskatoon Police Headquarters opened its doors. It is designed by Toronto-based design firm CS&P Architects, in partnership with aodbt architecture + interior design of Saskatoon, and built by EllisDon.
The 390,000-square-foot building consolidates work previously done in 12 separate buildings across the city and includes a wide range of services, office space, technical requirements, and amenities. Open design features reinforce the police force’s philosophy on community policing. With all of the city’s police service needs centralized on one site, it is one of the most comprehensive municipal police facilities in Canada.
The building includes a state-of-the-art forensics lab; property and evidence storage; an indoor firing range; a VirTra firearms training simulator—a first-of-its-kind in a police facility in Canada; a detention centre with more than 50 holding cells; a 911 call centre; a canine training facility; a computer lab; three classrooms; a gymnasium; and an aboriginal culture room.
Peter Ortved, principal in charge from CS&P says, “Police buildings are complex design challenges because they comprise so many functions – everything from standard office space to labs for crime scene forensic analysis, firing ranges for training, exhibit storage, and secure holding areas for detainees. In addition to these necessary, high-security areas, a priority has also been to develop a facility that is open, welcoming and accessible to the community as well as a healthy state of the art workplace for staff.”
The original Saskatoon Police Service headquarters was built in 1977. In the past 30 years, staff growth, operational procedures, mandated training standards, and evidence examination requirements have evolved dramatically and police services staff are now required to analyze and store all manner of exhibits, including DNA and digital hardware and software, for long periods of time.