In a bid to address concerns over a lack of police presence, a city centre community RCMP office is being readied in Richmond.
On Monday, the new City of Richmond community safety building - including the Richmond RCMP detachment - officially opened in Ironwood in south Richmond, leaving the city centre core with no police office.
Later the same day, however, city councillors approved a plan to open up a community police office in a city-owned building on Lansdowne Road, just west of the No. 3 Road intersection.
The total cost to the city is $780,860, over the three years being proposed for the project.
Around $570,000 of the cost will come from the existing RCMP budget, the remainder is what the city would have gained in lost rent from the building.
The RCMP's administration manager, Lainie Goddard, said in her report placed before council that the city centre core has been left with a "seemingly reduced policing presence."
"A new office would equate to an additional 33 per cent increase in community policing programs delivered across the city."
Although community police offices are generally staffed by volunteers or civilians, Goddard pointed out that uniformed officers frequently use the buildings to complete paperwork and further investigate cases, resulting in an increased police presence in the area.