As requested by the Honourable Kaycee Madu, M.L.A., Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, the Lethbridge Police Service (LPS) has submitted an Action Plan detailing changes that will be made to address incidents that have occurred within the organization. In addition, Chief Mehdizadeh has published a letter to the community addressing this next step and his commitment to the community.
Mayor Spearman and Police Commission Chair, Rob vanSpronsen have provided the following statements in response to this important step forward for LPS.
Statement for Mayor Spearman
Thank you Chief Mehdizadeh for the honesty and forthrightness revealed in your open letter to residents and for your commitment to the completion of an action plan in a timely manner. Your willingness to tackle issues that have preceded your time as Chief, as well as the integrity you bring to work each and every day has positioned the police force well for future success.
My hope for the not-so-distant future is efficient and timely outcomes to any outstanding investigations so they can be dealt with as necessary, and from there, a chance to move forward with a clean slate.
Chief Mehdizadeh holds himself to the highest of standards and is ready to take a big leap forward in making change where change is due.
- Chris Spearman, Mayor of Lethbridge
Statement for Lethbridge Police Commission Chair
On behalf of the Lethbridge Police Commission, I wanted to thank Chief Mehdizadeh for his cooperation and collaboration and swift action in compiling the plan that was sent to the Minister's Office yesterday. The compilation of this plan was an excellent exercise to undertake and there were many parties who worked together to complete it prior to the deadline.
The Minister's concerns arose in part to incidents that occurred a few years ago. Please be assured that both the Commission and the Service have been bringing in opportunities and strategies that are designed to continuously improve policing in Lethbridge. Some of these include collaboration with Lethbridge College, Blood Tribe Police and Medicine Hat Police on cadet training and adding an in-house Legal Counsel to help with discipline processes. The Service has also brought in the Crime Suppression Team, the Watch and the CPO program.
Since my time with the Commission, I have been consistently impressed with LPS' willingness to look in the mirror and make changes in the name of continuous improvement. The LPS of 2021 is not the same as it was in 2018.
My support to LPS and Chief Mehdizadeh is unwavering and the action plan presented to the Minister is the culmination of the hard work of many for the past five years.
-Rob vanSpronsen, Chair, Lethbridge Police Commission
Mayor Spearman will not be providing any further comments on this topic.
Interviews with Commission Chair, vanSpronsen can be coordinated via email at firstname.lastname@example.org