After years of planning, a new, centralized training facility for Durham Regional Police Officers officially opened its doors June 27th in Whitby.
Chief Constable Mike Ewles joined Regional Chair and CEO Roger Anderson and Whitby Mayor Pat Perkins at the official opening ceremony at 10 a.m.
“This facility shows Regional Council’s commitment to public safety by giving our emergency responders the resources and equipment they need to do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Regional Chair and CEO Anderson, who also serves as the Chair of the Police Services Board. “On behalf of Durham Regional Council and the Durham Regional Police Services Board, I am delighted to officially open this important new investment in community safety.”
The Operations Training Centre (OTC) in Whitby contains a new, state-of-the-art Communications and 911 Call Centre, a new 25-metre, 12-lane indoor firing range, and a secure and central home for police IT backup systems.
The 47,092 sq. ft. OTC addresses three key operational issues championed by Mike Ewles when he was sworn in as Chief Constable in June of 2007. First, the Communications and 911 Call Centre currently in Central East Division (downtown Oshawa) needed more space and had to prepare for the launch of a new, common-platform radio system for emergency services in 2014. Secondly, the DRPS has been operating without its own firing range since 1988 and has been leasing space from a private club in Ajax, making improvements in that facility to meet workplace and air quality standards. Police officers must re-qualify to use their firearms every year. Thirdly, the new facility will serve as a much-needed secure storage area for police computer hardware and software backup systems. Currently, these backup systems are in very tight quarters at 77 Centre Street, which is the home of DRPS’ busiest operational division.
“For a service our size, it just made sense that we have our own gun range from a risk management and long term planning and operating perspective,” said Chief Constable Mike Ewles. “By bundling up three mission-critical operational needs in the most cost effective manner possible, we were able to engage the support of the Police Services Board and Council.”
The 12-lane gun range uses a modern bullet catching system and the latest air-handling technology to keep the air clean of contaminants. It also features a moving target option, which will expand training options for officers. After a few months of operation, the Service will be able to determine if they have excess capacity on the firing range. If they do, the range could be rented out to other police services in need of weapon recertification.
The new Communications and 911 Call Centre features large windows to allow natural light for employees to enjoy while working in the large central room. The miles of cables are neatly tucked away in a subfloor and they connect to large computer servers in an adjoining, climate-controlled room.
For more information about the OTC, please contact Dave Selby of DRPS Corporate Communications at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 4277.
Thumb (JPG file, 48.3K bytes)
Chief Constable Ewles Speaks to Reporters (JPG file, 228.9K bytes)
Dignitaries at the Front Entrance of the OTC (JPG file, 114.5K bytes)
Piping in the Dignitaries (JPG file, 122.0K bytes)
Official Ribbon Cutting (JPG file, 118.6K bytes)
Deputy Chief Martin Salutes Flags as they Rise (JPG file, 100.9K bytes)
Public Sees Inside of Firing Range (JPG file, 90.5K bytes)
Chair Anderson and Chief Ewles Unveil Front Entrance Plaque (JPG file, 104.1K bytes)
Roger Anderson Speaks (JPG file, 150.7K bytes)