The cell block at the Salmon Arm RCMP detachment will be undergoing renovations in the new year. (File photo)

The cell block at the Salmon Arm RCMP detachment will be undergoing renovations in the new year. (File photo)

Salmon Arm RCMP cells to undergo renovation

Focus will be on safety, ensuring no blind spots exist in cell block

Prisoner and guard safety at the Salmon Arm RCMP Detachment will be the focus of an upcoming retrofit.

At a recent meeting of Salmon Arm council, a total budget of approximately $175,000 was approved as the result of an earlier RCMP study into design standards for cells.

City staff reported that a review of Salmon Arm cells was done in 2007 and again in 2016. The focus was on safeguards for handling, monitoring and housing detainees to improve their safety, including providing the optimum view of the entire cells and removing blind spots. It also included safety for police officers and guards.

The detachment’s 11 cells will be upgraded to meet the new standards.

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In October 2020, four pre-qualified contractors who had the required security approvals looked at the site. In November, just two of the four submitted bids. The contract was awarded to McDiarmid Construction, the lowest of the two.

“McDiarmid Construction is a local contractor who has successfully completed many city projects,” stated the staff report.

With just $142,000 in the budget for the work, council approved the transfer of a total of $45,000 from two reserves – the prison cell retrofit reserve and the RCMP storage building construction reserve.

The specialized equipment and materials required for the retrofit mean a wait for their arrival. Also, COVID-19 has created delays in manufacturing and shipping.

“In all practicality, the renovation will be a phased renovation with one set of cells being completed and then the other…,” Staff Sgt. Scott West said, noting safety measures will ensure prisoners and contractors are not in contact with each other.
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