Lorne Blumhagen, Lacombe Police Services’ newest inspector, is happy to be in Lacombe.
Blumhagen said it was actually the community itself that was a big part of his reason for joining the police service.
He said he feels Lacombians value a sense of community and that Lacombe is “a gem” within Alberta.
“The community is part of what drew me here,” said Blumhagen. “I like the dynamics of the community, I like the size of the community.”
Blumhagen said he was interested in the inspector position because he felt intrigued by the opportunity to work more in the administrative side of policing and thought it provided “An interesting challenge.”
However, it also allowed Blumhagen to continue doing the hands-on type of police work he enjoys.
Blumhagen is filling the position left vacant by Chief Steve Murray when he was promoted last year after the retiring of former police chief Gary Leslie.
So far, Blumhagen has found working with the LPS to be really rewarding.
“The people here (at LPS) are very talented and made me feel welcome coming in,” said Blumhagen.
He added that, from what he has seen of the LPS dynamics so far, it is an organization whose members work well together.
“They’re a fairly tight family themselves.”
Blumhagen said he is most looking forward to the challenge of adapting the police service to meet the changing needs of the community of Lacombe and building partnerships with other agencies.
“The community has been growing; some of the dynamics of the community have changed over the last few years.”
Before coming to Lacombe, Blumhagen enjoyed a 22-year career with the Camrose Police Service.
Before that, he was an auxiliary RCMP officer for seven years.
Blumhagen said that he decided to pursue a career in policing because of its diversity. Once he got involved with policing he found the opportunities within policing to get involved with the community and work with community also very rewarding.
Today, his favourite parts of the job are the personal challenges including everything from learning new investigative techniques to adjusting to the changing dynamics of policing to how to meet the challenges of the job.
“It doesn’t get boring,” said Blumhagen. “If you don’t like mundane or routine, this is definitely a good career.”
In over two decades of being a police officer, Blumhagen has seen a lot of the dynamics of the job change.
For example, there were no computers when he first became a cop and there was no such thing as Internet crime.
Other aspects of the job like officer training, officer safety and techniques have changed a lot as well.
He said the biggest difference in the job from when he first became a police officer to now is how much in-depth work is needed to complete a file.
Everything from the amount of paperwork to the equipment used has changed.
“Some of the work is definitely more specialized.”
Use of computers, technology and things like social media have also changed the dynamics of policing quite a bit.
Blumhagen added that even the evolving dynamics of a community can change things like traffic flows and how police services enforce things like speed limits.
“It all ties back to the police somehow.”
For Blumhagen, the hardest part of being a police officer is also the most rewarding.
He said that dealing with victims in unpleasant situations, such as death or violent crimes, can be difficult for anyone.
However, being able to get through those things and be there for someone in need is also one of the most impactful and gratifying experiences the job has to offer.
“That’s definitely it, turning those negatives into positives.”