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Guelph Police Service Plans New Training Facility and Fourth-Floor Expansion

Guelph Police Plans New Training Facility

In an effort to modernize its shooting range and enhance training capabilities, the Guelph Police Service is embarking on two significant projects over the next decade. The first involves the construction of a new training facility, while the second entails the expansion of the fourth floor in the recently-renovated headquarters.

The estimated costs for these projects are $7.4 million and $14.5 million, respectively, and they will be included in the 10-year capital budget forecast. The funding for both endeavors will largely be covered by development charges, ensuring minimal financial burden on taxpayers.

As of now, the exact location and design of the training facility have not been determined, and the estimated cost does not account for any potential land acquisition expenses. The current shooting range, being quite outdated, lacks the capacity to accommodate carbine rifle training, which is vital for officer safety while on duty. Moreover, conducting outdoor shooting exercises in a growing urban area poses challenges related to noise levels, safety concerns, and environmental impact.

Recognizing the need to adapt to the city’s growth and evolving training requirements, Deputy Chief Daryl Goetz emphasized the urgency of establishing an indoor facility for more comprehensive and weather-independent training. The Guelph Police Service plans to allocate $200,000 from the 2025 budget to improve the current indoor range temporarily while awaiting the completion of the new training facility. 

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During discussions at a recent police board meeting, Mayor Cam Guthrie proposed the possibility of sharing the training facility with another police department to mitigate costs. Deputy Chief Goetz acknowledged the merit of the idea and confirmed that a nearby service is already exploring similar cooperative options. However, he pointed out that travel time might pose a challenge for officers, as it could significantly reduce their availability for regular duties if they have to travel a considerable distance to the shared facility.

Board members, including Jane Armstrong and Mayor Guthrie, expressed interest in exploring cost-related information for the potential land purchase, as the price of land in the area may influence decision-making.

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Additionally, the purpose of the expanded fourth floor in the headquarters has not yet been finalized. Chief Gord Cobey indicated that further community discussions will take place to gather input and reach a well-informed decision. One possibility mentioned during the meeting was the relocation of the Clair Road Emergency Services Centre from the south end to the fourth floor, but this remains subject to further evaluation and public input.

As the projects move forward, the Guelph Police Service is committed to engaging with the community and relevant stakeholders to ensure well-planned and beneficial outcomes for the training facility and headquarters expansion.

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