NEW OFFICER - Inspector Dean LaGrange was sworn in as the new Operations Support Officer for the Red Deer RCMP Detachment. Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express

WATCH: Red Deer RCMP welcomes new Operations Support Officer

Dean LaGrange comes to Red Deer after serving 25 years for the Calgary Police Service

The City of Red Deer RCMP recently held a press conference for the swearing in of their new Operations Support Officer, Insp. Dean LaGrange.

The administrative role, according to Supt. Ken Foster, will include overseeing plain-clothed units, traffic sections as well as some administrative sections. LaGrange will also periodically fill in for the Detachment Commander as needed.

LaGrange, who is originally from Red Deer and graduated from Camille J. Lerouge School in 1987, returns to the City after serving 25 years with the Calgary Police Service where his roles included general duty, traffic, major events, emergency management and also being part of the Strike Force Unit.

After becoming a commissioned officer in 2011, LaGrange commanded the CPS traffic section as well as overseeing the city-wide operation response as Calgary Police Service Duty Inspector. During this time, LaGrange travelled to Afghanistan in 2012 to help train the Afghan National Police as part of a NATO-led coalition Operation Enduring Freedom.

LaGrange is excited for the opportunity to return to the community he grew up in.

“Becoming a member of the RCMP after coming from a municipal agency is quite an honour. I am hoping to learn, as well as bring some of my experience,” he said.

Foster said anytime they can bring in someone with LaGrange’s experience, it is welcomed.

“I had the pleasure of meeting Dean many years ago on a joint operation and I was impressed then. I didn’t realize our paths would cross 10 years later,” he said.

LaGrange said he has a good idea of the issues facing Red Deer.

“Being a police officer an hour and a half down the road, we dealt with similar issues and similar problems,” he said. “It is not a secret we are in tough economic times and there are several pressures facing communities such as the opioid crisis.

“Red Deer isn’t unique in that. It is happening all over the province and we are here to work as a team to combat those issues.”

He added adjusting to RCMP processes will be the only adaption he could see and that, “Policing is Policing”.

Foster confirmed this saying all police organizations must fall under the Canadian Criminal Code and Supreme Court of Canada decisions.

“That is an easy transition. As for learning the organization, I have complete confidence and it won’t take long,” Foster added.

LaGrange added Red Deer is a much different City than the one he left after high school.

“I left Red Deer in 1988 and it was about 40,000 people then. It has over doubled in size, and with a larger city comes larger problems. We are here to work with the community and solve problems together,” he said.