Peterborough Police station needs to be replaced: consultant

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The preferred option in the consultant's report suggests building a new police station in a new location at a cost of $46.9 million. Mark Giunta reports – Jun 4, 2019

Peterborough’s 51-year-old police station on Water Street is facing a host of issues and needs to be replaced, according to a consultant.

The issues include outdated cells, poor HVAC, staff in offices that were once closets, a lack of locker space and accessibility issues, city council heard Monday night.

“We don’t have an accessible parking spot at our station,” said Peterborough Police Inspector Lynne Buehler.  “There’s no proper ramp for them to get in.  Once inside, the elevator doesn’t have the space to accommodate some of wheelchairs and scooters.”

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Other issues with the current setup at the station include a communications room that is at capacity despite a need to add another desk to it.

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Some of the communications technology is up on the roof and has been damaged in years past by the elements.

As for gun training, that’s done off-site at a range because there is no space at the police station.

If a major weather event or attack were to happen, the building wouldn’t hold up.

“Requirements in emergency services is the building would need to withstand weather or an attack,” added Buehler. “It’s called “post-disaster structures.” This building isn’t one and wouldn’t do well in that situation.”

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In 2011, a study by the police services board pointed to the fact the service was already overcapacity for the building.

A consultant’s report, which went to city council on Monday night, outlined the need for a new police station.

The preferred option listed in the report is to build a new $46.9 million police station on six acres of land in a new location, which is yet to be named.

“It’s served its purpose.  It’s had some renovations over its time, but listen, everything has its time under the sun,” Bob Hall, police services board member, told council.  “Going forward, there’s going to have to be some significant investments.”

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Although council understands the facility is deficient in a number of areas, several councillors said the city just doesn’t have the money to pay for this right now.

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“We’re here to look at a bigger subject and how it all fits, ” said Coun. Dean Pappas.  “It’s not just building a new station, but the operating costs of the station.”

“Where’s the federal and provincial money? There is no money. You’re looking at a $50-million building,” said Coun. Keith Riel.

The report was deferred back to the Facility Space Needs Study Steering Committee.

The committee will look at all options and return to council at a later date.

“We need community facilities that meet safety, that are affordable and at the end of the day, enhance our quality of life,” said Hall.