The old Royal Newfoundland Constabulary headquarters at Fort Townsend have been renovated and greatly expanded — and on Wednesday there was pomp and circumstance for the facility's official opening.

Premier Tom Marshall, Lieutenant Governor Frank Fagan and other dignitaries were on hand to cut the ribbon, which was curiously, yellow police tape.

The new headquarters took seven years to build, with a price tag of $42 million.  

RNC Chief Robert Johnston said careful planning went into ensuring the new complex would meet future demands better than the old one did.     

"Any mistakes that were made in other facilities across Canada, we tried to make sure we didn't make the same mistakes here," said Johnston.

One of the areas that received significant improvement is the shooting range.

Sgt. Bill James said the new range has simulated scenarios, moving targets and more room.

"We have red and blue lights we can activate, so it simulates being out in the field and next to your vehicle, [in a] night situation," said James.

Another $15 million will be spent on turning the old College of Fisheries, known as the RNC annex, into a training centre.

Since the RNC's original headquarters opened in 1979, the force has more than doubled in size and has added a host of new technologies and investigative techniques.