New Cape Breton Regional Police headquarters ready to open
Police expect to move into $2-million East Division headquarters building next month
Cape Breton Regional Police will have a bigger presence in downtown Glace Bay one day soon with the opening of the newly constructed East Division headquarters.
The $2-million building is on Main Street, just steps away from downtown businesses. Police are currently located several kilometres away in an old office building on Reserve Street.
"A lot of people were afraid to shop the streets here because people were hanging around, and now it will be safer for them knowing that police are right up the road," said Nancy Budden, assistant manager of the Bargain Shop.
She and other downtown merchants have been concerned about thefts, assaults and shoplifting in the area.
Budden said she's glad police will be closer. In the past, there have been fights and reports of purses being stolen.
"There was a lot of theft in stores," she said. "I think that with the police here, a lot of people will be a little more scared to do things that they would normally do and us as workers will feel safer to work."
Police expect to move into the new building next month. An official opening ceremony will be announced in the coming weeks.
Reg Hutchings, acting superintendent of Cape Breton Regional Police, said police will have a more noticeable presence downtown.
"It means that we're working with the community, we're in the community and accessible to the downtown people," Hutchings said.
"The visibility is the big thing. It's showing the public that we are here and if they do need anything, it's easy access."
An increased police presence is welcome news to Bay It Forward, a community group in the area.
Paul Carrigan, the group's chair, said it's important to see new construction in Glace Bay.
"I didn't hear much about crime, although years ago you heard about drugs — but that's in every community. Police presence is going to help that," he said.
"But a new building means that other development will come as well, we believe."
The new building will also have a community room for meetings and small events, which CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke said is great.
"This is a new approach to actually provide the community with access to the police service facility, to take down some historical barriers," Clarke said.
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