In early October, the Grande Prairie RCMP detachment named a new Commander Superintendent. Don McKenna replaced John Ferguson on October 4th while Ferguson moved onto a new position as Chief of the western district. McKenna says his priorities are to create stronger partnerships with organizations around the community.
“Aligning our programming our partners and our communities as well. Also, identifying what the priorities are with the help of the community and part of that is consulting different groups, councils and different agencies.”
Reducing crime has also been slated as a goal for McKenna. Although crime rates in the City of Grande Prairie have gone down by more than 20 per cent, McKenna says there is always room to do better and make the community safer. When comparing January 1st to September 30th of 2016 to last year, violent crimes against people have decreased by 21 per cent and property crimes have dropped by 27 per cent.
Don McKenna moved to Grande Prairie two years ago to take on the position of Operations Officer with the Grande Prairie RCMP detachment but he set a goal to become the Commander.
“This was my goal when I came here. I saw Grande Prairie and I lobbied to come up here to be the Operations Officer. My goal was to be the detachment Commander.”
McKenna says having a safer community and a continued downward crime rate are goals for him in his new position. When it comes to the crime rate, he commends the County of Grande Prairie for their help in an addition to their crime reduction unit which focuses on crime hot spots in the area.