By Jensen, Randy on June 30, 2020.
The Lethbridge Police Commission has chosen a senior Royal Canadian Mounted Police commander to be the city’s new Chief of Police.
Lethbridge Police Commission chair Simon Griffiths asked city council to formally approve the appointment of RCMP Chief Superintendent of the Central Alberta District, Shahin Mehdizadeh, as per the commission’s recommendation during Monday’s city council meeting.
Mehdizadeh has served as an officer for over 30 years with the RCMP. He has extensive experience with major crimes, drugs and organized crime and is considered a subject matter expert in the field of crime reduction, working in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba and on “The Pilot Project for Crime Reduction” in that capacity.
Mehdizadeh will be retiring from the RCMP to take on the role of Chief of Police for the Lethbridge Police Service as of Aug. 30.
Acting Chief Scott Woods will return to his former role of Deputy Chief when Mehdizadeh formally takes command. Griffiths expressed his appreciation for Woods’ efforts over the past eight months filling the interim role.
“He did an exemplary job leading the police service from the time Chief Davis left until Shahin takes over on Aug. 30,” Griffiths said. “It’s a difficult job.
“It’s a challenging job. Throw into the mix Chief Woods had to deal with a global pandemic, the commission couldn’t be happier with the job that he did.”
However, Griffiths said, in the end Mehdizadeh was the unanimous choice of all the commissioners, despite originally having over 20 highly qualified applicants for the position.
“It was important we got the right person,” said Griffiths. “If that person had to have been an internal or an external candidate, that’s the person we wanted. We wanted the best person for the job, and we believe we have that.”
Chief Superintendent Mehdizadeh currently has oversight over 1,000 sworn officers and more than 200 civilian staff, and administers a budget of $150 million.
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