Scores of innocent residents will briefly end up in the holding cells during Saturday’s official opening of Red Deer’s new police-fire station.
The opening of the 67th Street RCMP precinct and the expanded Red Deer Emergency Services Station 2 takes place from 1 to 3 p.m.
Mayor Morris Flewwelling, city councillors, plus Mounties and emergency service staff, will be on hand for the celebrations at 5839 67th St.
Charlaine Rausch, corporate events specialist for the city, said a presentation from dignitaries will last about 25 minutes, starting at 1 p.m.
Following that are guided tours of the police station, which adjoins the renovated firehall.
Visitors will see the entire police precinct, from the work stations to the interview rooms and two holding cells.
People will also enter the area where suspected impaired drivers end up, Rausch said.
The tour will then head into the expanded firehall, which now includes a mechanics bay in between the old station and the RCMP precinct.
“We moved the mechanics shop from the Mountview station,” said Fire Chief Jack MacDonald. “It’s closer to the suppliers, so it reduces driving time.”
Free hotdogs and hamburgers will be given out during Saturday’s outdoor barbecue.
Residents can also tour through an ambulance, fire truck and a mobile command post.
They’ll also learn more about the differences between RCMP and municipal enforcement officers.
Sparky the fire dog mascot will also be on hand.
Twenty-four officers and support staff are shifting from the downtown RCMP detachment to the new precinct. All shifts will be covered and it will house 54 staff, including police and civilians.
At the firehall, four fire-medics are on hand at any one time, as was the case prior to renovations, said MacDonald.
“As we hire new fire-medics, we’ll end up with another two (by the end of September),” he said.
Three fire prevention officers have also been relocated to work out of the firehall in the north, where they do a lot of inspection work already.
No public parking will be on site during Saturday’s opening. Instead, a complimentary shuttle will take people from the G.H. Dawe Community Centre’s west parking lot at 56 Holt St. The shuttle is handicapped accessible.