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Lethbridge Police Commission appoints new chief of Lethbridge Police Service

Shahin Mehdizadeh has been named the new Police Chief for Lethbridge Police Service. Mehdizadeh will join LPS after serving as the RCMP Chief Superintendent, Central Alberta District.
Shahin Mehdizadeh has been named the new Police Chief for Lethbridge Police Service. Mehdizadeh will join LPS after serving as the RCMP Chief Superintendent, Central Alberta District. Courtesy: City of Lethbridge

After an extensive, national search that lasted more than six months, Lethbridge’s newest chief of police has been named.

Shahin Mehdizadeh was unanimously chosen by the Lethbridge Police Commission — in a decision that was ratified by city council on Monday — and will officially assume the role of chief of police on Aug. 31, 2020.

Read more: Lethbridge police chief calls allegations against him ‘frivolous’ following dismissal of complaint filed by officer

Mehdizadeh is currently serving as the RCMP Chief Superintendent for the Central Alberta District, and is responsible for 24 detachments.

“It took a while — it was delayed with COVID-19,” said Lethbridge Police Commission Chair Simon Griffiths.

“We would have liked to have done it sooner rather than later because these protracted processes cause angst, but we are pleased today with council’s adopting and ratifying of his position.”

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Former chief Rob Davis resigned from the Lethbridge Police Service in July of 2019, and the position was passed on to then-Deputy Chief Scott Woods. Woods was named the Interim Chief of Police in October.

Read more: Lethbridge police chief addresses Monday’s surprise resignation

Woods will return to his former role as the deputy chief. Griffiths said he wasn’t allowed to disclose whether Woods had been a candidate for the permanent position.

“What I will say about Interim Chief Woods [is that] he did an exemplary job,” Griffiths said. “It’s a difficult job, it’s a challenging job, [and] throw into the mix that Chief Woods had to deal with a global pandemic, the commission couldn’t be happier with the job that he did.”

“It was important that we got the right person… and if that person had been an internal or an external candidate, that’s the person we wanted. We wanted the best candidate for the job, and we believe we have that.”

Mehdizadeh will join the LPS with more than 30 years of policing experience with the RCMP, across four provinces.

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In his current role, Mehdizadeh has full oversight of financial, administrative, and human resources operations with a $150 million budget, more than 1,000 sworn officers, and more than 200 civilian staff.