As the force expanded over the years, its requirement for space also increased. By 1906, it was located on the main floor of the City Hall between the Market Building and the main building, with the Police Court across the corridor. At this time, the strength was 14 officers.
By 1951, the force had grown to 46 officers and 2 civilian employees. Renovations began on the “Island Market” building (the wing extending westward from the main City Hall), which provided office space on two floors. The holding cells were on the main floor, and the Magistrate’s Court and offices were on the second floor. The force moved into this facility on October 27, 1952.
The city continued to grow, and with it the force, so that by 1969 the force strength was 92 officers and 8 civilians. Again, larger and more modern quarters were needed. During the same period, the City Administration and its various departments had outgrown the space allotted to them, and it was decided that a separate police building would be erected. The Public Utilities Commission was on the move at the same time; thus, a narrow strip of property previously occupied by the Commission at the corner of Ontario and Queen streets was purchased, and a new 50,000-square-foot police headquarters was erected on the site. This building was officially opened on January 14, 1972.
Despite considerable internal renovations, with the rapid growth of the force in 1999 the Kingston Police outgrew the 11 Queen Street headquarters virtually overnight, and the planning process for a new headquarters began almost immediately with Rebanks Pepper Littlewood + Shoalts and Zaback, Architects in Joint Venture. Site preparation and remediation was completed from July to December 2005 by Morven Construction Ltd., and in May 2006 M. Sullivan & Son Ltd. commenced construction of a new facility at 705 Division Street, just north of Railway Street.
Full operations began at 705 Division Street on October 1, 2007. The new headquarters constituted a dramatic departure from the status quo in the design of police facilities. While many focussed only on security, the new headquarters was designed to be an expression in brick and mortar of ways to reduce environmental impacts and wisely use such resources as land, water, energy, and raw materials. At the outset, the project rehabilitated a brownfield area recognized within Kingston’s Community Improvement Plan. Upon completion and achieving a Gold certification, the new 121,087-square-foot Kingston Police headquarters was the first police building in Ontario and the first police headquarters in Canada with accreditation under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) standard. The green building features incorporated into the facility demonstrate that building technologies and construction processes can be part of the solution to many of the environmental challenges facing society. In addition to the LEED® requirements, the Kingston Police adhered to four guiding principles in making design decisions: reduce (avoid using unnecessary materials); reuse (incorporate existing materials); recycle (incorporate existing materials in new ways); and rethink (look for new and better building solutions). The facility was designed to accommodate up to 300 officers, but the site and building plans allow for future expansion.
The dedication and official opening of the new headquarters took place on January 28, 2008. The following year, a dedication ceremony was held for the Victims of Domestic Violence Memorial that stands alongside the Kingston Police Fallen Officers Memorial at the front entrance. Envisioned at the very beginning of plans for the new headquarters, this memorial, with its epigraph “To break the cycle of violence, we must end the cycle of silence,” is meant to be a very public testament that domestic violence is not acceptable and that learned behaviours that encourage violence within family units must change.