Retired Calgary Police Service officer Dean LaGrange has become Red Deer RCMP’s newest inspector.
LaGrange takes over the position from Insp. Heidi Wild who has become an employee/management relations officer for RCMP in Edmonton.
Born and raised in Red Deer, LaGrange was a member of the Calgary Police Service for more than 25 years before retiring last month. He commanded the traffic section for District 2 with the CPS and recently oversaw city-wide operational response as a duty inspector.
LaGrange also spent 2012 in Afghanistan training and mentoring the Afghan National Police as part of the NATO-led coalition Operation Enduring Freedom.
Supt. Ken Foster said he was impressed with LaGrange when they met during a joint police operation about 10 years ago. RCMP have been hiring more members from other police agencies and that’s a good thing.
“It gives a fresh set of eyes. It gives different ideas, and we’re always open to learning,” Foster said Tuesday morning after LaGrange’s swearing in ceremony at the Red Deer detachment.
The plain clothes unit, our traffic section and some administrative sections will be under LaGrange’s command. He will also fill in for Foster from time-to-time as acting detachment commander.
LaGrange said it was an honour to join the RCMP and return home to Red Deer.
“RCMP do many things well and Calgary Police Service do many things well so I’m hoping to learn, as well as bring some of my skills and experiences to the city of Red Deer,” LaGrange said.
“Being a police officer an hour-and-a-half down the road, we have similar issues and similar problems. It’s not secret that we’re in tough economic times. There’s several pressures facing communities such as the opioid crisis. It happens all over the province, and we’re here to work as a team and combat those issues.”
LaGrange said since he left Red Deer in 1988 the city’s population has more than doubled in size.
“With a larger city come larger problems. Again that’s not unique to Red Deer or any other city. It happens and that’s why we’re to work with the community and solve those problems together.”