LONDON, ONT. -- The Ontario government has opened a new Ontario Provincial Police Communications Centre on Exeter Road offering high-tech, leading-edge technology, that OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique says is essential.

"The new London provincial communications centre is a critical component of the OPP's delivery of emergency services to our communities and the support we provide to our dedicated officers on the front line and in our speciality units," he said in a statement.

The 35,000 square-foot facility will house 135 civilian members and officers who handle emergency and non-emergency calls for service. It is one of five such facilities that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The facility is accessible and, according to Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP and Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Jeff Yurek, designed to meet high environmental standards

"I am especially proud that the building meets the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver Standard (LEEDS), which recognizes buildings with reduced environmental impacts. This will be of great benefit to both the community and the environment and reflects our government's commitment to delivering modern, efficient infrastructure across Ontario."

The new facility will serve an assigned area of more than 170,000 square kilometres and a population that reaches approximately 850,000 people during the summer months.

"Our government recognizes that provincial police officers continually encounter new challenges on the job, whether it's enforcing the law during the COVID-19 outbreak or combatting new online criminal activity," said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones in a release.

The new centre will also support other OPP jurisdictions as needed and provide the space OPP officers and civilian members need to conduct their work in an improved workplace environment.