January 20th, 2021

Police chief search process sparks concerns

By Nick Kuhl on February 29, 2020.

Tim Kalinowski
Lethbridge Herald

The Lethbridge Police Commission is a few steps closer to hiring a new 
Chief of Police, but a disagreement about the hiring process sparked a 
rare public debate during the commission’s recent monthly meeting.
Human resources committee chair, Commissioner Dawna Coslovi, informed 
her fellow commissioners on Wednesday that all the resumes have been 
received, with several applicants from across the country seeking the 
city’s top policing job. The next step, she said, was for the three-
member human resources committee, made up commissioners Simon 
Griffiths, Coslovi and Robert van Spronsen, to conduct interviews and 
whittle it down to one applicant who would be ratified by the police 
commission as a whole and then forwarded to city council for further 
“Everyone is fully aware the commission takes its job very 
seriously,” she said. “Trying to hire the Chief of Police is a very 
important decision, and it is one we have been charged with under the 
Police Act. We will not have (outside) interference. It is not a 
political decision. It is completely with the commission.”
Coslovi, however, was challenged on the hiring process she laid out by 
Commissioner Victoria Chester.
“I am now confused about the process of the hiring of the chief,” 
she said. “So just backing up a bit on the process — previously, it 
was my understanding, you were going to do interviews, narrow it down 
to a top few candidates, and then discuss those candidates with the 
commission, and then make your final selection.”
Coslovi replied it was the role of the human resources committee to 
choose the final candidate and then present that to the commission.
“Under our terms of reference, and I thought under the whole 
commission’s agreement, the HR committee was to make the selection 
and bring it back to the commission as a whole with our recommendation 
— no different than what City is going through right now with their 
search for the city manager.”
Commissioner Blaine Hyggen, who recently joined the commission as a 
representative of city council, said the procedure in choosing the 
city manager was more similar to the one outlined by Chester rather 
than a sole selection choice by a committee. Commissioner Chris 
Spearman, who holds the other city council commission seat, agreed 
that was the council procedure, but stressed the two bodies are not 
tied together, and it was up to the commission to conduct its own 
business in any way it chooses.
“The mayor has no role in the selection of the police chief,” 
Spearman stated. “Even though I am a member of the commission, I 
simply am sitting here as a representative of city council. I am not 
on the HR committee. I am not involved with who might become before 
the commission as a recommended choice, and ultimately I would be 
voting as a member of the commission based on a recommendation by the 
HR committee, without any political interference.”
Chair Griffiths confirmed what Spearman had stated, and reminded 
Hyggen he, too, would not be involved directly in the selection of the 
Chief of Police.
“For the sake of clarity, I would confirm what (Commissioner 
Spearman) just said,” stated Griffiths. “You are not part of the 
HR committee, and the first time you will see any candidate is as a 
result of the recommendation of the HR committee to the police 
Chester said her understanding was there was no vote ever held by the 
commission on the exact procedure for choosing the final candidate for 
the Chief of Police position.
“I don’t know we have anything documented that says that,” she 
stated. “I have been fairly assertive with two, three or four 
candidates, whatever you determine (on the HR committee), is brought 
back to us with all the homework. And if you can’t trust us as a 
commission on confidentiality, then I don’t understand that.”
Commissioner Bruce Thurber said if there was uncertainty on the HR 
committee’s ultimate role in the candidate selection process, it 
should be put to a vote.
“We can get bogged down in the weeds on a detail when we are on the 
verge of hiring a police chief,” he said, “and we are waiting on 
terms of reference to direct (that process).”
Thurber then moved the motion the HR committee complete the interviews 
and candidate selection process on its own, and come back with a 
single candidate for the entire commission to ratify.
The motion passed by a vote of 5-4. Commissioners Thurber, Spearman, 
Griffiths, Coslovi and van Spronsen were in favour. Commissioners 
Hyggen, Chester, Rachel Hopf and Diane Conley were opposed.
Follow @TimKalHerald on Twitter

Share this story:
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Dennis Bremner

Good to know that it will just be a total coincidence if its decided that the New C.O.P. is soft on drugs, thinks its a great idea that people can carry illegal drugs even if on the other side of town if they say they are heading to the SCS.

We are entering stage 3 of the SCS existence. Now that we have attracted 1300 users to Lethbridge and they have established 90 Drug houses (Spearman quote) the next stage is the SCS will be used less and less by those that are accepted into the Drug Houses. Those on the fringe of acceptance will earn their access by “Go-For-ing ” handfulls of needles and pipes back and forth to the drug houses.
The massive damage of an SCS will be done. The drug houses will now flourish, and Lethbridge policy of walking around with illegal drugs will continue even though they have no intention on going to the SCS. This will attract the last 500 addicts that are being harrassed elsewhere to Lethbridge giving us the priviledge of 2000 users or 2% of the population. Which, if you need a reference, will be the highest population of drug addicts per capita in 1st World History.
That guarantees, gangs, killings, drive bys, and B&Es and property losses that will be historic. Why? Because never in the history of Drug Addicts has a Mayor/Council so openly invited as many as could arrive, and labelled them as Clients who deserve respect, and Homeless, thats why!
The new C.O.P will have to contend with a soft on Drug Addicts Council/Mayor who have full intention of housing and supporting as many as come to Lethbridge.
So I say for the last time. If this New, soon to be elected, C.O.P is a Spearman Clone, then I officially stamp Lethbridge as “Screwed”!


Why are we bringing in another outsider to command our Lethbridge Police Service? Did we not learn from that last mistake?

Are you telling me that it is better to bring in someone that has no idea of the issues we face in this city, the people, the unique population and cultural issues?

We have capable members of the LPS of serving this community effectively, that are up to speed on the issues and what the citizens are demanding from leadership.

Or . . . is it that the Commission ( City Council ) really want someone that will be a ‘yes’ person to turn a blind eye to the SCS issues! Sorry, but I have zero faith in the Mayor and his sheep that have destroyed this city by pushing for the SCS!

Hire the next LPS Chief from within the LPS! They know what we need!

Dennis Bremner

The amusing thing about the SCS is they will market their decrease in usage (Clubhouse membership) as some sort of measurement of success, and they were not the ones attracting the users! Because, afterall, there are only XXX registered users which is Pre SCS existence.!! That will be the logic, which will be complete bull! In actual fact, much like the 30 odd cities I have watch devolve into Drug chaos, the drop is created by the implementation of more and more Drug Houses and has nothing to do with the SCS.
So for those that did not believe my 4 month warning (in December) ….watch SCS DRUG ADDICT Visits drop further every quarter. Of Course Bourque and Manning will hide that usage drop by adding the Drug Addict visits into other services making it look like they are servicing all the users they used too. They won’t be, the numbers will include HIV, Pregnancy counselling etc etc as they attempt to blur the 3rd stage of an SCS’s existence. They won’t be at the SCS other than to grab needles and pipes and will be living in a rental unit near you! Guaranteed!
You just have to spend a little time reading the documentation to realize whats going on but most Lethbridge Residents have no idea, and won’t until its too late, Spearmans counting on that!

This is how you reverse engineer this drop which is forth coming

1) SCS opens
2) Carry of illegal drugs OK as long as going to SCS
3) Carry generally accepted
4) Crime pops so they can feed their habit
5) Spearman issues an all points bulletin that Lethbridge will be the Southern Region treatment Facility (SRTF)
6) Other cities/towns and reserves boot their drug addicts out and suggest they visit the NEW- SRTF
7) Loads of addicts show up. New Drug Addicts to Lethbridge will use the SCS, old users will use the drug houses. As the new users become accepted by the old users, the new users will slowly leave the SCS. This continues until there are no more new users arriving and the old users are dispersed throughout Lethbridge, which may take another year or more.
8) The now “very familiar with Lethbridge Old User now B&E’s extensively and steals so much property that they actually start making more money then they consume in drugs. Those succesful individuals then rent a house, which becomes the first Drug house. They then start selling and become more successful. Others see that and they set up houses.
9) The houses are now as successful as the SCS because who wants to walk all the way to the SCS in winter, after all the Dealer is telling them “I have good clean stuff”.
10) Attendance at SCS starts to drop, people are fired.
11) The damage to Lethbridge is done.
12) Calls to close the SCS will be like closing the gate after the cattle have gotten out, it will be pointless and it will only be then that the SCS people and politicians “will” realize what they did to “Lethbridge”. (Hence the 4 month warning in December that if something was not done in the next 4 months, were screwed.)
12) When analyzed, Bourgue and Manning will say its not their fault.
13) Spearman will say he followed the experts suggestions

Everyone will claim they did the right thing, all of them will be wrong.
The people that suffer the consequences? The Police with an unbearable workload and the Residents.