Official opening of Saugeen Shores Police Service building

Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau [3rd from left] cuts the ribbon to officially open the new Saugeen Shores Police Service building. September 25th, 2019 (Photo by Jordan Mackinnon)

The Saugeen Shores Police Service had its first opportunity to show off its new police station Wednesday.

Over one hundred people attended the opening ceremony for the new police station on MacKenzie Road in Port Elgin, including retired chief Dan Rivett, who spearheaded efforts to construct the new facility during his 11 years as chief.

Rivett said he was impressed by the new station, crediting municipal officials for recognizing the need to expand the police service as Saugeen Shores continues to boom.

“The work of the CAO, David Smith, and the work of your present mayor, Luke Charbonneau, are what got this to where it is now, so I’m impressed, they knew this community was growing, the infrastructure needed to expand and you’ve done that,” said Rivett. “Now you don’t need to focus on [the station] one bit.”

Current Chief Mike Bellai was impressed by the support and turnout from the community.   He said morale is not an issue for his officers and civilian staff, but admitted having a modern and spacious work environment will only help.

“This is going to help them do their job, it’s very important to have a proper facility, the proper I.T., state-of-the-art building, it just makes a huge difference when you come to work that you know that have a proper facility, a proper police facility, to operate out of,” said Bellai.

Bellai said the building includes proper interview rooms, a safe exchange area for the public to conduct Internet purchases, and also pointed out the board room table was crafted from ash trees cut down at Fairy Lake in Southampton due to emerald ash borer.

The police building had a budget of $6.8 million and while it will come in under budget, Bellai said final figures are not yet available.

The police service will continue to operate out of the current building on Tomlinson Drive until the move is officially completed on October 1.

Saugeen Shores Police Chief Mike Bellai speaks as Mayor Luke Charbonneau looks on at the unveiling of the new Saugeen Shores Police station. September 25th, 2019 (Photo by Jordan Mackinnon)