Gateway Gazette

New Spyhill Services Centre Improves In-Custody Care

After almost 60 years of being the central hub for processing people who have been arrested, the holding cells in in the downtown core will be retired this week as we are moving into the new Spyhill Services Centre this Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

The Downtown facility was built as part of a new Police Headquarters building in 1961, when Calgary only had 241,000 residents. While there have been some upgrades over the years, it was becoming increasingly difficult for us to keep up with the demands of a growing city and the evolving standards for in-custody care.

“Our officers and staff have done an amazing job of making the aging facility work to meet the standards of care Calgarians expect of us,” said Chief Constable Mark Neufeld. “But there is only so much you can do in a place designed six decades ago for a city five times smaller that we are now.”

The Spyhill Services Centre has a modern design that uses current technology to provide a safer, more secure environment where the dignity and wellbeing of arrestees is better protected.

Some of the key improvements to in-custody care are:

• More than twice the total cells allow for better separation of people in custody

• Separate entrances and processing areas for adults and youth to protect minors

• Enclosed bay to load and unload arrestees is safer and protects privacy

• Modern cell design better protects against self-harm and offers more privacy

• Modern CCTV systems allow for better monitoring of people in custody

• Medical treatment area is enhanced and modern to improve medical care

• Additional remote hearing and consultation rooms better facilitate conversations with legal counsel and due process

• Better lighting, dimmable lights in cells, easier cleaning and better noise control to support a higher standard of care for arrestees

The modern building also offers a safer and healthier work environment for our officers and staff with better lighting, more office space and the ability to better monitor and control what is happening throughout the building.

“We are grateful to our community for once again equipping us to be a forward-thinking and leading police agency,” added Chief Neufeld. “This building will allow us to continue processing people in our custody with compassion, dignity and respect for decades to come.

“Once we move into the Spyhill Services Centre, located at 12500 85 St. N.W., the old facility will be returned to the City of Calgary.”

Source: Calgary Police Service

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