Red Deer’s new police chief is looking forward to tackling challenges that face the City in terms of crime.
Supt. Ken Foster has been on the job in Red Deer for just over a week, but he has a rich history with the RCMP.
Born in Calgary and spending much of his youth in Innisfail, Foster joined the RCMP in 1991.
“I had an uncle who was in the RCMP and when I met my wife, she had an uncle who had been in the RCMP,” he said of his first interest in joining the police service. “I’ve always had an interest in emergency service stuff, too – I was a volunteer firefighter in Innisfail. I think you are wired to that world.”
Foster was sworn in in Red Deer before going to Regina to complete his training. After graduation, Foster’s first post was in Mission, B.C.
In 1995, Foster was stationed in Fort Providence in the Northwest Territories and in 1997 he moved into Rankin Inlet in Nunavut. In 1999 Foster moved to work in Grande Prairie before being promoted to corporal in Stettler. In 2004, Foster was again promoted, this time to Sergeant in Fort Chipewyan and then to Staff Sergeant in Strathmore.
Foster oversaw nine detachments in southern Alberta while working in Calgary in 2007 and in 2009 he moved to work at the Edmonton headquarters for a unique role as the division Staff Sergeant major.
“In 2011 I wanted to fulfill a dream of serving in all three northern territories and a job opportunity came up to go to the Yukon. Shortly after arriving there I became commissioned to inspector and I oversaw all the detachments outside of Whitehorse, so there were 12 along with our air services, our dog section, traffic unit, IDent unit, relief unit and then the support unit.”
In August 2015 Foster made his way to St. Albert before coming to Red Deer. “Here I am – that is the full circle. Not many people get to do that,” he said referring to growing up in Innisfail during his youth and working in Red Deer in his younger years as well.
Foster said what brought him back to the Central Alberta area were many things.
“I’ve always enjoyed Central Alberta and we have lots of family and lots of friends here. I like the culture, the lifestyle, the closeness to the west country, the farming and agriculture,” he said. “Red Deer is our largest municipal detachment in the province so the challenges of that are appealing as well.”
As for highlights of his career, Foster said one of them would be meeting a wide variety of people.
“The different cultures and the different environments – I have worked in everything from quite a large East Indian population to Cree – the various people that I have been able to interact with and all the moves and different places just help you grow professionally and personally. When you are a minority in some of these communities you get a different perspective,” he said.
Meanwhile, Foster said he looks forward to making a positive impact in the Red Deer community.
“I’m excited to be here.”