UPDATED: Lacombe ranks 77th on MacLean’s Dangerous Places list

UPDATED: Lacombe ranks 77th on MacLean’s Dangerous Places list

‘No call too small’ LPS philosophy leads to favourable ranking

Lacombe remains a safer community in comparison to many of neighbouring communities according to Maclean’s magazines’ annual Canada’s Most Dangerous Places list.

The city currently sits 77th out of 237 communities on the list — with Wetaskwin in third Red deer coming in 6th, Lethbridge in 19th, Sylvan Lake in 29th, Edmonton 27th and Calgary in 80th.

“I think overall it would indicate Lacombe is a safe community,” Lorne Blumhagen, Lacombe Police Service (LPS) chief of Police, said. “We aren’t immune from crime and social issues that other communities face, but we are doing quite well as a community.

“As a police service, we are maintaining a good level of public safety, but we still have work to do.”

The study by Maclean’s compares changes in the Crime Severity Index,which takes into consideration both the volume and seriousness of offences. since 2012.

Lacombe currently has CSI of 83, which is above the national average of 70.96 — good for 77th out of 237 communities.

Lacombe’s violent CSI currently sits at 35, which is significantly below the national average of 75.25 and places the city 180th out of 237 communities.

“When you look at violent crime ranking for Lacombe, we are very low — which is excellent and we want to maintain that. It is really our property crime numbers that keeps our ranking higher,” Blumhagen said.

Blumhagen credits Lacombe’s ranking to their 24-hour municipal policing model, which is different than many jurisdictions in the province that use RCMP detachment models.

“The timeliness of receiving calls and responding have been to our benefit,” he said. “Having localized dispatch allows our citizens to know that when they phone in, they are going to be answered in a timely fashion. They will get a response within minutes. Geographically it helps that we aren’t responding long distances, but we do have the ability in our model of 24 hr policing and minimum staffing models that we do have the resources.

“If we are tied up on other calls, we will still get to any call within a reasonable period of time.”

LPS has also been continually relying on a focus on repeat offenders to help limit property crime in the city.

“We do have a high number of property crimes and a lot of those property crimes are being committed by the same individuals,” Blumhagen said. “One person in one night can enter numerous vehicles or commit multiple thefts that are reported the next day.

“We don’t have abundance of people committing those offences, but if you can identify individuals and deal with them — usually your numbers will go down.”

In order to identify individuals, Blumhagen and his team rely on the community reporting each crime which allows LPS to collect analytical data.

“Our community is very apt to report incidents and we encourage them to report more often in a timely matter,” he said. “Many people forget we are open 24 hours and forget to report. They can phone at 3 a.m. if they see something suspicious and we can respond.

“We have a philosophy of ‘No call too small’ and we will attend all the complaints we receive and try to investigate those to the best of our ability.”

What consistent reporting can do is lead to higher statistics, which can be misleading if taken solely on face value. Blumhagen suggested that sometimes if reported property crime statistics are higher, it actually means that LPS has been able to respond to them due to the community reporting incidents.

LPS has also upped the amount of communication they have with other jurisdictions in order to target regional offenders, who are often very mobile according to Blumhagen.

“We have made improvements in the area of intelligence sharing working with the CISA (Criminal Intelligence Service of Alberta). We are strengthening our partnerships and attending meetings with other agencies on a regular basis,” he said.

Overall, Blumhagen says the Maclean’s report shows that LPS is moving in the right direction but there is plenty more left to be done.

“We are trying to become the safest community in all of Canada, but we have to be realistic about that as well,” he said.

More information, the study can be found at https://www.macleans.ca/canadas-most-dangerous-places-2019/.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Lacombe Express File Photo

Lacombe Express File Photo

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Most Read