By Yoos, Cam on January 13, 2020.
Lorne Blumhagen’s title is Chief of Police – a lofty recognition one achieves by always looking for the next challenge or opportunity. That’s been a constant theme throughout more than 30 years in policing.
Blumhagen’s path to becoming chief of the Lacombe Police Service began in 1985 in the then-named Lethbridge Community College’s (LCC) Law Enforcement program. The college came highly recommended by members from his hometown Camrose Police Service where Blumhagen had volunteered.
The friendships he formed early on at LCC were vital to his success as a student.
“I met new people who were also away from home for the first time and we quickly formed alliances and friendships,” remembers Blumhagen. “Many of us joined the LEO Club and I also got a job at the Barn, which helped with paying expenses and was a great place for social activities. It also kept me fed since we got free food when we worked.”
He fondly recalls instructors Ken Reilly, Al Rudolph and Bob Palmer and the effect they had on him as a young student. In particular, he recalls court and evidence class and the scrutiny he faced trying to get evidence past “Judge” Rudolph.
“It taught me valuable lessons that I used later in creating court files, preparing and presenting evidence, and responding to counsel on cross examination,” says Blumhagen. “Those same lessons still apply to this day.”
His policing career began as an RCMP auxiliary constable before he switched course and completed recruit training with the Edmonton Police Service. He joined his hometown Camrose Police Service in 1992 as a general patrol officer and expanded his rŽsumŽ, gaining experience in School Resource, Crime Prevention, Criminal Intelligence, Major Crimes, Undercover Surveillance and Drug Enforcement Operations. That experience led to his promotion to sergeant in 2005.
In that role, Blumhagen managed a policing team, oversaw the Major Crimes Unit and gained experience in multi-agency initiatives as well as homicide, sexual assault and professional standards investigations. His innovative methods and commitment to helping people led to two major career accolades as he received the Governor General’s Exemplary Service Medal in 2012 and the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee Medal in 2013 for initiatives in crime reduction and enforcement strategies.
Following more than 20 years in Camrose, Blumhagen embraced a new challenge in 2014, joining the Lacombe Police Service. In 2016, he was named acting chief, before assuming the full-time position as Chief of Police in 2017. He remains actively involved in a variety of provincial initiatives, and takes a special pride in his role as part of the Mental Health Police Advisory Committee.
After more than 30 years in policing, Blumhagen says it’s the people he’s met along the way who leave the strongest impression. He remains close with colleagues from the RCMP, Camrose Police and Edmonton Police Services, and fondly remembers his beginnings in Lethbridge.
“Many of the lessons learned during my time in Lethbridge served me well throughout my career,” he says. “Many of the people I met went on to have very successful careers in policing throughout Alberta and across the country.”