The Ross River and Faro RCMP buildings will be receiving renovations while Carcross will get a new detachment building altogether as part of a newly-agreed upon capital plan, the Yukon government and Yukon RCMP announced Sept. 25.
Tenders for the work on the Ross River and Faro buildings are expected to go out within the fiscal year, Justice Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee and Yukon RCMP Chief Supt. Scott Sheppard told reporters at a press conference Sept. 24. Community consultations on the new Carcross detachment have just started.
“This is based on the review of infrastructure within the territory identifying, quite simply, what the the requirements are based on the age of the building at the condition,” Sheppard said.
“…The interesting thing too is that you can’t base (the decision to renovate) solely on age, it’s how much use (the building has) received, it’s how it’s weathered over those years, building materials, a variety of things,” he said.
“I mean, Whitehorse detachment here is one of the older buildings in Yukon as well, but despite its age, it still ticks away and is pretty sound, so I mean, there’s a lot of factors that come into play when we look at this.”
The Faro and Ross River buildings are 46 years old and 17 years old, respectively, while the Carcross detachment is 37 years old.
Both McPhee and Sheppard said it was too early to say how much the renovations or building of the new detachment building will cost.
In an email, Yukon RCMP spokesperson Coralee Reid said that capital plan, which is supposed to guide investments on policing in the territory until 2022, is worth about $11.5 million. She declined to provide a copy of it to the News.
McPhee and Sheppard told media about a broader policing infrastructure plan that will see Ross River and Faro consolidated into one policing region with the total number of officers serving those two communities going down from six to five. Meanwhile, the Haines Junction detachment will receive an additional officer.
“When we look at the calls for service in both the Faro and Ross River area, Faro in particular, the calls for service in that area are significantly lower than any other detachment in Yukon, and that’s not just a recent phenomenon, that has been historically the case,” Sheppard said.
“Also, when you look at the geography of Yukon, you look at where the detachments are situated around the territory, the ability to hub to two detachments that were reasonably close together was an excellent opportunity to introduce this alternative service delivery, which is why we began discussing it with the minister and her staff.”
According to a related press release, under the new model, there will be a “hub detachment” in Ross River with a “satellite office” in Faro, and the additional officer in Haines Junction will be able to help with “increased policing demands” in Burwash Landing and Destruction Bay as well as “the need for greater highway enforcement, and to assist on initial responses associated with the international border.”
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