Justice Minister to dissolve LPS if no action plan by mid April

Lethbridge Police Service has received a letter from Justice Minister Kaycee Madu expressing his concerns over a number of high profile cases involving the LPS. The minister has set a deadline of April 16th to have Lethbridge Police Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh put together a plan to address issues of recruiting, training, oversight, discipline and transparency within the LPS. If the chief does not come up with a plan by then the minister says he will look at potentially dissolving the Lethbridge Police Service and bring in another police force.

In a statement today LPS had this to say, “We are confident that the Service is on the right path to correcting past behaviours and restoring public trust. We are committed to demonstrating our dedication to these goals in the months and years ahead.”

The Chair of the Lethbridge Police Commission, Rob vanSpronsen also released a statement saying, “We are working closely with the chief to finalizing our action plan and secure the resources needed to make the important changes required to move us forward.”

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman says, “I am confident that Chief Mehdizadeh and the Lethbridge Police Commission understand the importance of this task and are making it their number one priority.”

Madu is responding to recent complaints about the service, including that employees allegedly used police databases to do unauthorized searches on Lethbridge West MLA Shannon Phillips’ personal information. Five officers were also recently suspended after they were allegedly involved in creating toxic memes of the previous administration.

Jeannette Rocher

Jeannette Rocher

After an internship with the CBC, Jeannette embarked on her journalism career by moving overseas to take a job on the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. While overseas she covered stories in Fiji, Guam and Japan including the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan and its surrounding islands. She covered a mass shooting, an Earth quake, the disappearance of two little girls, murder cases and other huge court cases. In 2013 she moved to Alberta where she covered the devastating floods of High River and Medicine Hat for CTV News. She then went on to produce and host Go! Southern Alberta for Shaw TV.

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