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Headlines from the past: Fight over new Coquitlam RCMP building

Thirty years ago this week, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam disagreed over the need for a new public safety building to house the Coquitlam RCMP detachment.
The front entrance of the Coquitlam RCMP detachment at 2986 Guildford Way, Coquitlam. | Diane Strandberg, Tri-City News

Stories from Tri-City News headlines of decades past will be a reoccurring feature as the publication approaches its 40th anniversary in 2024.

The Coquitlam RCMP is the third largest RCMP detachment in Canada and the fourth largest municipal police agency in Metro Vancouver.

It provides policing services for two cities: Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, who share the resources fairly amicably, as well as the villages of Anmore and Belcarra.

But there was a point in time when PoCo and Coquitlam councils did not see eye to eye on the operation of the important service.

Thirty years ago, Coquitlam saw the need for a new building for the nearly 300 officers at the time while Port Coquitlam disagreed.

PoCo wanted the original building on Christmas Way to be renovated, according to a Tri-City News report for July 14, 1993.

The disagreement resulted in complaints by some politicians on Port Coquitlam council that the city hadn’t been consulted on plans and there was “no evidence” a new building was needed.

However, by then, the City of Coquitlam had already hired an architect to draw up some plans for a new building in Town Centre.

At the time, Coquitlam’s city manager said the city had no choice but to proceed without an agreement from PoCo because, as he stated, “We need a new police building.”

The two cities patched things up and the new building went ahead.

The detachment is part of a two-building complex built at the Guildford Way campus.

Both buildings were designed by Grant & Sinclair Architects Limited and completed in 2001.

In the decades since, the buildings have provided an important function for city services.

Currently, the RCMP detachment deals with the public while conducting police business and there’s even an ‘Exchange zone’ to help sellers and buyers make safe transactions.

Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam share costs 70–30 for RCMP services.

Find out more about the Coquitlam RCMP detachment’s Strategic Plan on the website.

Among the files of the Tri-City News is coverage of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody councils, local crime, local festivals and events similar to today’s stories you’ll find online and in print on Thursdays.

For a digital version of this week’s paper, visit the Issuu website.