By James Tubb 
BELLEVILLE – The Belleville Police Service  are almost ready for their new home.
“Obviously we are very excited to be moving,” Staff Sergeant Rene Aubertin told QNet News. Aubertin has worked in the old police headquarters on Dundas St. E for 20 years.
“It’s getting pretty tight here. There will be a lot more room in the new station,” said Aubertin.
From Wednesday Oct. 14 to Friday Oct. 16 they will be transitioning from their current home to the new station located on the corner of Sidney and College street.
The current station had become outdated and could no longer contain the growing police force.
The new police station will be more accessible to the public and will feature more wheelchair accessible entrances.
“The current building is in a tough location right now. The new station will be a little bit more central for everyone,” Aubertin said.
A couple of features in the new headquarters have been put in place to directly benefit the Belleville community. Inside there is a community boardroom that will be made available for use by any non-profit community organizations in Belleville.
Outside of the station there will be a designated “safe exchange zone” for anyone who wants a safe location to meet someone. The zone will be monitored by cameras 24/7. Police say the area could be used for shared custody transfers, signing documents or exchanging of goods, or any time the public wants to meet someone in a safe and monitored place.
“In the age of Kijiji and Facebook Marketplace, we want to have a safe place for people to meet. Someone would have to think twice about ripping someone else off if they are right outside of a police station,” said Aubertin.
While they are moving between buildings, the current walk-in service offered by the Belleville Police will be suspended from Tuesday Oct. 13, starting at 10 p.m. until the new building is opened Monday Oct. 19, at 9 a.m.
For now, the Belleville Police have postponed any kind of open house for the new station due to the ongoing safety concerns with the COVID-19 virus. Any plans for a formal grand opening will be announced when health restrictions allow for a proper ceremony.