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To Serve and Protect

Durham Region Police Service’s, LEED Silver Certified, Clarington Police Complex (CPC) is a beacon — perched on a slight rise and anchored on a prominent corner, it orients itself towards the community it serves. DIALOG has been working with the Region on this site since Phase I of the police complex. Our work has resulted in the completion of two structures, including the East Division Building (EDB), the Forensic Investigation Facility (FIF), and the development of the site to accommodate future phases. Phase II, still in the planning stage, will add two more buildings to the site to further support Durham Region Police Service (DRPS).


Community Comes First

CPC has increased the wellbeing of three distinct communities: the environment and ecosystem has been improved through the rehabilitation and protection of the site; local citizens receive increased safety through improved police services; and DRPS themselves benefit from the improved working conditions provided by their new facility. Beginning at the earliest planning stages, the word Community has been foremost in the design of CPC. From site selection, to placing the East Division Building on the most prominent corner of the site, to the very open and inviting layout, community has played an essential role in the success of this project. The project team took measures to make sure CPC is meaningful to the residents in Clarington. It is important to DRPS that the public know they are there to help them in good times and bad. The EDB, the only publicly accessible building in the complex, is oriented toward the intersection, a welcome gesture to the neighbourhood. There is easy access to the front door via a beautifully landscaped staircase and accessibility ramp rising from the street corner as well as from a publicly accessible parking lot. A new bus pad at the corner helps serve the community and provides easy access to the facility. Ultimately this project aimed to reinforce community wellbeing by promoting the active engagement of numerous stakeholders through all stages of design. An emphasis on community building was a guiding principle throughout the project. Various participating groups were led through multiple hands-on interactive workshops, design charrettes, and stakeholder meetings to ensure project success. The end result of this collaboration is a fantastically successful project that the project team can be proud of.

Disarming Design

This is not your typical looking police station. The exterior of the building incorporates natural stone and wood with continuous strip windows at pedestrian height, complementing the naturalized site, providing an attractive view for neighbouring residents. Inside the EDB, the lobby is inviting and open - a welcoming first impression for visitors. To reduce the intimidating factors sometimes associated with police stations, the EDB incorporates separate entryways for the public, staff, and processing of detainees. A secure staff entrance leads into a long corridor that has been dubbed “Police Street”. The zone offers a safe place for the officers to meet and its central location promotes dialogue and a community environment. The wide corridor also allows speedy reaction times when responding to calls. Equipment is organized in shelves lining the hallway, while rooms along the corridor house everything the officers need prior to dispatch: gun room, coat storage, and equipment storage. The EDB is arranged around a large inner courtyard, adjacent to the internal kitchen and lunch room, to provide private space for the police in a secure area. The abundance of light streaming in through the courtyard also filters into the common work areas and offices, providing bright and healthy working conditions. Additionally, a circulation corridor frames the inner courtyard which allows the police within the building to view their coworkers across the space, a benefit to social interaction and an overall sense of security. Exterior landscaping clearly defines public and secure zones without the need for fortress type walls. The building makes use of glazing in a way that offers privacy to building occupants yet still allows the pubic to see in. The extensive use of glass in the lobby makes it visible and open, reinforcing the building is accessible and welcomes visits from the public, even from the roadway.

A Creek Runs Through It

The Clarington Police Complex is situated on a flood plain within the 1,636 ha Darlington Creek Watershed, an area protected by the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA). This important watershed was naturalized and protected in the development of the site, just one of many sustainable measures taken in the project. Darlington Creek runs through the centre of the site, essentially splitting the property into two distinct halves. The protection and enhancement of the creek was a crucial component of ensuring project success. Darlington Creek is vital to the site and the local ecosys¬tem. The project team worked closely with CLOCA to protect the natural resources on the site. It was necessary to schedule sufficient time to complete the important work in the creek to satisfy the requirements of the CLOCA before any site work or on-site construction could begin. To select the best possible solutions to protect Darlington Creek, a specialty consultant was retained to lead the watercourse and environmental management of the project. To provide a healthy environment for the creek, the project team designed a new watercourse diversion which incorporated natural features such as root wad structures and riffle pools. They also contributed to the natural stabilization of the banks by planting trees and native species to reduce erosion and filter the rainwater. The renewal of the site transformed the creek from a ditch into a thriving natural habitat for local species which include rainbow trout, white sucker, pumpkinseed, bluntnose minnow, fathead minnow, and brook stickleback. To protect the results of the waterway transformation, a creek by-pass was implemented during construction. An earth bridge was installed over a small portion of the creek with the potential to allow construction vehicles, and future police traffic, to pass through the site without disturbing the creek. All services and infrastructure to support the eventual vision of the Master Plan were planned for and installed early in the construction process, before the creek bed was completed. This will prevent the need to disrupt the site during future development.

Project facts

Client: Regional Municipality of Durham
Services: Master Planning, Architecture, Structural Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering, Interior Design, Sustainable Design
Cost: $32 M
Size: Site 27 Acres, 6,818 sq m / 73,300 sq ft - Phase 1
Completed: 2015

Achievements & Awards

Ontario Public Works Association(OPWA) Award for Public Project of the Year in the Structures, $10 Million to $50 Million Category

LEED® Silver Certified