Ground broken for police training college

Ground for a long-promised police training college in southern Alberta has finally been broken.

FORT MACLEOD — Ground for a long-promised police training college in southern Alberta has finally been broken.

Infrastructure Minister Ray Danyluk and Solicitor General Frank Oberle were on hand as 300 people in Fort Macleod watched the sod-turning.

The Alberta government first promised the training facility five years ago, but construction kept getting delayed.

The government said the economic recession made it impossible to go ahead.

At one point more than 200 people held a community meeting in the town over the stalled project and last February Premier Ed Stelmach announced it would go ahead.

Construction is expected to be completed within three years.

Fort Macleod has been counting on the project to help bolster the area’s economy and has already upgraded its water and sewage facilities.

Oberle says the college will be an economic booster for all of Alberta.

“The facility is going to train our government peace officers and work with police forces across our province — the RCMP, municipal police forces — to provide a variety of training,” he said Monday.

“We’ll (also) do a significant amount of … upgrading and recertification training and … career advancement training here.”

The college will be built on land south of Fort Macleod on Highway 2.