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Mounties take over Spruce Grove Field House

Most of Spruce Grove Park closed to public until March 31

The RCMP have been given the keys to Spruce Grove Field House as they prepare to secure the corridor for the 2010 Games.

The police have a contract with the Resort Municipality of Whistler to occupy the field house, parking lots and parts of the sports field for a period from Dec. 1 to March 31. They're there to support security operations in Whistler.

The Field House, normally used for community forums and events, will be used as office space and a gathering point for RCMP mobile support units. RCMP dog teams will also have kennels in the park.

All of Spruce Grove Park will be closed to the public save for a portion of the sports fields for leashed dog walkers.

All dogs must be leashed in the vicinity of Spruce Grove and signs will be posted indicating where walkers are permitted. No parking will be available at Spruce Grove Park.

"In less than 80 days, Whistler will be welcoming the world and we recognize the importance of the support from RCMP and Games-time security forces," Mayor Ken Melamed said in a news release. "These respected professionals will provide the essential conditions for a successful games and a safe environment for the athletes."

Bud Mercer, Chief Operating Officer of the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit, said in a news release that the contract with the resort municipality will allow the unit to "fulfill its security mandate in the area."