BY KALISHA MENDONSA
The City of Lacombe was proud to announce the appointment of Lorne Blumhagen as the new Chief of Police earlier this month, after an extensive interview process and recognition of Blumhagen’s proud policing history.
Blumhagen proved his valuable nature during his time with the Lacombe Police Service (LPS) when he worked as Inspector, and then again when he stepped up to fulfill the Acting Chief position. Now, Blumhagen will carry on with his extensive policing career to serve as Lacombe’s newest Chief.
“After a comprehensive internal process, the Lacombe Commission is very excited and pleased to have Lorne Blumhagen as our Chief of Police,” said Lacombe Police Commission Chair Bob Huff.
“We were particularly impressed with Lorne’s very capable leadership style, his varied knowledge and skills, and his proven track record in policing, which allows the Lacombe Police Service to continue enhancing policing in the community.”
Mayor Steve Christie agreed.
“Lorne Blumhagen is an excellent community-minded Inspector who will bring great ability and leadership skills to his new role as Chief of Police,” he said at the time.
Meanwhile, Blumhagen is pleased with his new post.
“I am honored to receive the appointment as Chief of Police from the Lacombe Police Commission and the City of Lacombe,” said Blumhagen.
“I look forward to providing leadership to the dedicated members and staff of the Lacombe Police Service to ensure we are providing quality policing services to the citizens of Lacombe and all community partners. As we move forward, we will be committed to enhancing our level of service through effective and efficient delivery models focused on increased public safety and addressing community needs.”
Blumhagen has served with the LPS since 2014, first as Inspector, where he oversaw all operational functions of the Service, including Recruiting and Selection, Professional Standards and Provincial Standards compliance.
From August of 2016 until this month, he served as Acting Chief of Police.
During this time he provided oversight and coordination of the transition from the old LPS station to the new enhanced facility.
He also coordinated the transition to the new Provincial First Responders Radio Communications System and the return to Lacombe of local police dispatch service.
Blumhagen began his policing career with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Camrose in 1985 as a summer constable and was hired full time in 1992.
He completed his recruit training with the Edmonton Police Service before returning to Camrose where he worked as a general patrol member in the initial stages of his policing career.
He was promoted to sergeant in 2005 and managed a policing team and then became the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) in charge of the Major Crimes Unit.
Blumhagen has experience in all areas of investigations including multi-agency projects and initiatives, homicide investigation, sexual assault investigation and professional standards investigations.
He has been an intelligence liaison officer with the Criminal Intelligence Service of Alberta (CISA) and is currently still on the working committee for CISA.
He was also on the Provincial Gaming and Liquor Investigative Team.
His extensive background and numerous positions of leadership led him to become the natural choice for the LPS when the position opened up for a new Chief of Police.
As well, his passion for the community has earned him a great deal of respect in Lacombe and other communities he has served in the past.
“When you’re dealing with people, whether they are our staff or people in the community, the concepts are still the same. You want to support them and ensure they are equipped to do their job and serve their community to the best of their ability,” Blumhagen said.
“Being in this business, you get used to adjusting to new environments or going with the flow if that’s required at the time. However, you still try to approach things strategically and think a few steps ahead.
“In the Chief’s job, part of what we do is to think years ahead and make plans for the organization and deliver our service to the best of the community’s needs.”
Blumhagen has obtained special training and certifications in many areas of policing, including computer voice stress analysis, emergency site management and training for major police incidents and civil disasters.
In laymen’s terms, Blumhagen is ready to tackle whatever the Lacombe community puts in front of him, and always does so with his core value of community at heart.
His many years of service have also built his skills in negotiation and mediation.
His experience in servicing with the Alberta Federation of Police Associations has led him to work with provincial and federal initiatives, working hard to ensure that police service members are treated well, and that communities are being served to the utmost capacity.
In 2012, he was awarded the Governor General’s Exemplary Service Medal, and in 2013 he received the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal for initiatives in crime reduction and enforcement strategies.
His dedication to serve the community in which he works has been recognized and appreciated through the years.
“One of the things I’d like to see moving forward is a community liaison position. That person would be able to engage with community groups, be that a crime-prevention group or some other kind, and anybody looking for information or communication would be able to reach out to that person,” said Blumhagen, adding that this position is valuable in engaging the community and bringing in new programs as the City grows.
He added that he feels Lacombe’s police service can utilize relationships within the community to grow programs and services and to develop a strong relationship with the citizens of Lacombe.
He said it’s also important to continue consultation with the community, and be open to responses to better guide the development of the LPS.