A pair of Red Deer RCMP’s newest arrivals bring more than a half-century of red serge experience between them.
Inspectors Warren Dosko and Lawrence Aimoe officially introduced themselves at police headquarters on Wednesday and talked about the challenges ahead for local policing.
Dosko will head the detachment, replacing Supt. Brian Simpson, who was promoted to chief superintendent and has taken a post in Ottawa.
Dosko, 48, is a 24-year veteran and most recently was in charge of the St. Albert detachment. He will oversee 130 officers and is expected to be promoted to superintendent soon.
Aimoe, 51, has 27 years on the job and comes to Red Deer as the inspector in charge of operations at the detachment. He has lived in Red Deer since 2003, and during that time has headed the police dog training centre in Innisfail and was most recently in charge of the Maskwacis detachment at Hobbema.
Dosko said he’s only been at the detachment for three weeks but was impressed by some of the social development programs in place.
“The social development of the community is a big part of policing. And certainly it will be a strong focus of mine.
“Certainly a lot of the root causes of crime are imbedded in social development.”
Red Deer shares many of the same challenges as many communities.
The key is finding sustainable programs and initiatives that work to address Red Deer’s issues. Tackling issues such as the city’s high homicide rate also involves looking at root causes for violence, seeking prevention measures and ensuring police have the investigative resources they need, said Dosko.
It has been an eventful first few weeks on the job for him. Two Red Deer Emergency Response Team officers were hurt in a shootout near Breton on Dec. 4. Both officers are now doing well, he said.
“We’re very proud of the work they were doing. They are very front and foremost in our thoughts.”
Dosko said that’s the nature of police work. “Sometimes it’s like drinking from a fire hose.
“But that’s good. That’s the environment we work in and I think it’s an exciting environment. And I think the work the members is doing on the front line is very exciting and they’re doing a great job.”
His role is to find ways to support front-line officers and improve service delivery to the community.
Dosko grew up in Craik, Sask., and wanted to join the RCMP as an 18-year-old out of high school. But it was a time when hiring was limited and he had to wait until he had finished a bachelor of administration degree at the University of Regina before he got the call in 1987.
After recruit training in Regina, he was posted to Smithers, B.C., where he served for five years. The next four years were spent in Fort Liard, N.W.T., where he replaced former Red Deer RCMP officer and now city councillor Buck Buchanan.
Dosko then returned to B.C. and over the next 11 years he worked in Sicamous, Vanderhoof, Tsay Keh, Prince George, Princeton, 100 Mile House and Terrace.
He is a married father of two children, 13 and 15.
Aimoe, an aboriginal born in Flin Flon, Man., shares a similar start to his RCMP career that began in 1985. Unable to join as a 19-year-old, he went to Brandon University and came out with a degree in sociology, psychology and native studies.
His first posting was to the executive diplomatic protective section. He later went to Provost and Hobbema. He taught at the Regina Depot, had a stint in the Canadian Law Enforcement Training Unit which offers training to outside agencies, and went to Ottawa where he worked on aboriginal policing programs.
He later worked with the Solicitor General of Canada’s office, the Integrated Border Enforcement Team, and the Learning and Development Directorate before coming back to Red Deer.
Aimoe’s oldest son has joined the RCMP and is posted to Red Earth Creek in northern Alberta. He is married and has two other sons, one at Red Deer College and the other in high school.
Aimoe said the challenge is always finding ways to make the best use of resources. Among initiatives already showing its worth is the Police and Crisis Team, which pairs a police officer and a psychiatric nurse to deal with people with mental health issues.
“Already we’re seeing some really significant results from it,” he said. “They’re already taking cases that would normally go to the hospital and diverting them away from the hospital.”
The RCMP also intend to continue focusing on impaired driving.