A born and raised Red Deerian is returning home to become deputy chief of the city’s RCMP detachment.
Dean LeGrange was sworn in Tuesday morning as the new Operations Support Officer for Red Deer RCMP, assuming the rank of Inspector.
LaGrange was a member of the Calgary Police Service (CPS) for more than 25 years before retiring last month. He says he’s well aware of what he’s getting into in coming to a region facing plenty of crime-related issues.
“Being a police officer an hour, hour and a half down the road we had similar issues and similar problems. It’s no secret that we’re in tough economic times,” LaGrange said. “The opioid crisis, Red Deer isn’t unique, it happens all over the province and we’re here to work as a team and combat those issues.”
After graduating from Camille J. Lerouge high school in Red Deer in 1987, LaGrange moved to Calgary and joined the CPS in 1992 at the age of 22. He worked general duty, traffic, major events, emergency management and as part of the Strike Force Unit before becoming a commissioned officer in 2011. LaGrange commanded the traffic section for CPS, District 2 and most recently oversaw the citywide operational response as a Duty Inspector.
LaGrange spent a year in Afghanistan in 2012 training and mentoring the Afghan National Police as part of the NATO-led coalition “Operation Enduring Freedom.”
He says his biggest challenge moving forward will be learning the processes involved with the RCMP.
“We all police under the same criminal code, but it is a different organization and just learning those intricacies and what is exactly important in this community are going to be my major challenges.”
“Anytime we get somebody with the breadth of experience that Inspector LaGrange has that makes perfect sense to me,” said Red Deer RCMP Supt. Ken Foster. “We’re seeing more of the RCMP hiring from other agencies, and that’s not a bad thing. It gives a fresh set of eyes [and] gives different ideas. We’re always open to learning.”
Inspector LaGrange has been married for 25 years and has three adult children. He is excited to return to the Red Deer area, where many of his family still reside.
He takes over for Inspector Heidi Wild, who recently left the Red Deer detachment to become an RCMP Employee Management Relations Officer in Edmonton.
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