City Council has ratified the appointment of Shahin Mehdizadeh as the new Police Chief for Lethbridge Police Service.
Mehdizadeh was unanimously chosen for the position by the Lethbridge Police Commission, which provides civilian oversight to the police service. He is currently serving as the RCMP Chief Superintendent, Central Alberta District where he is responsible for a large geographic area that has 24 detachments, including the City of Red Deer and numerous First Nations communities.
"We are thrilled that Mr. Mehdizadeh has accepted the position of our new Police Chief," says Simon Griffiths, Chair of the Lethbridge Police Commission. "We are very fortunate to have his leadership and vast experience coming to our police service and we are confident he will serve our community well."
The Police Chief position was left vacant following the resignation of Chief Rob Davis in July of last year. Chief Davis was replaced by Interim Police Chief, Scott Woods in October, 2019.
"The Commission also wants to extend our appreciation to our interim Police Chief, Scott Woods. Chief Woods has put in an extraordinary amount of effort over the last 10 months, says Griffiths. "He is extremely committed to this community and needs recognition for what he has done while taking on this very challenging role."
Mehdizadeh will officially take on the role of Police Chief on August 31, 2020.
An accomplished Police Executive with 30 + years' experience with the RCMP, Mehdizadeh has worked across four provinces in various policing disciplines. He has been in senior leadership roles for the past 15 years and has a proven track record of success in leading local, national and international operations to counter and prevent crimes, promoting public safety and building strong relationships with communities.
"We recognize that this is a challenging time for police services across North America," says Mayor Chris Spearman. "We look forward to having Chief Mehdizadeh's expertise and new perspectives to help shape the future of policing here in Lethbridge. I would like to congratulate him and welcome him to our community."
Mehdizadeh has an excellent knowledge of modern law enforcement and crime prevention methodologies and practices. He is well versed in the economics and "business" of policing and the need for efficient use of resources, especially in these current times.
"I'm looking forward to joining a strong team at the Lethbridge Police Service and working together to build on the great works that is already happening," says Mehdizadeh. "It is important to me that our members are healthy and happy in their work and that they are encouraged to be innovative. Taking ideas from both inside the police service and from our community will help enhance public safety and bring the best service to Lethbridge residents."
The job of choosing the next police chief was not taken lightly. The police commission launched an extensive, national search that has lasted over six months in order to find the most qualified candidate.
Chair, Lethbridge Police Commission
In his current role as Chief Superintendent, Mr. Mehdizadeh has full oversight of financial, administrative, and human resources operations with a $150 million budget, over 1,000 sworn officers and 200+ civilian staff.
Mr. Mehdizadeh is considered a subject matter expert in the Crime Reduction methodology of policing and steered the "Pilot Project for Crime Reduction" in BC, Alberta and Manitoba. He understands that enforcement is only one component, and there is a great necessity to partner with many different stakeholders to be successful. He has extensive experience in Major Crimes, Drugs and Organized Crime. He has worked on high profile cases that attracted widespread attention and is comfortable as a leader and in working with the media. His experience is also broad and diverse; he has been recognized for his work on honour-based violence which influenced the passing of Bill S-7 providing support to female immigrants. Throughout his career and through his various assignments he has ensured to maintain his experience in front line policing.
He is an inspirational and visionary leader and a life-long learner. His educational credentials include a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice, a University Certificate in Accounting, completion of the Canadian Securities Course in addition to various police leadership training and certificates. Mr. Mehdizadeh has an excellent knowledge of modern law enforcement and crime prevention methodologies and practices.
He is known for being skilled at engaging with all organizational stakeholders, promoting the highest standards of professionalism, workplace health and safety and encouraging cultural change to support a cycle of continuous improvement and promoting safer communities.