Blue Line

Grande Prairie hires first police chief

July 13, 2023  By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

July 13, 2023, Grande Prairie, Alta. – The Grande Prairie Police Service has found its new police chief after city council ratified the police commission’s decision to hire Dwayne Lakusta for the role at Monday’s regular council meeting on July 10.

Lakusta will begin the role of Grande Prairie’s first police chief on August 28.

“It is a tremendous opportunity to lead the transition from the current policing model and establish the Grande Prairie Police Service,” said Lakusta.

“I look forward to working with the Grande Prairie Police Commission, city council and the entire community to build a police service that is reflective of and responsive to the unique needs of our city.”

City council decided in March to create a municipal police service that would phase out the RCMP as the police of the jurisdiction over five years.

The first police officers are expected to be deployed within a year.

The chief of police will now lead the transition and establishment of the police service while working with the police commission to create policies, procedures, and standards prioritizing public safety, community engagement and accountability.

Lakusta has 28 years of experience in community safety, starting a career in policing in 1995 with the Edmonton Police Service (EPS). His roles at the EPS included working in the drug undercover street team, drug enforcement, and homicide teams.

Lakusta was the Superintendent-Chief Executive Officer for the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT), where he overlooked policing standards and governance in Alberta.

“Lakusta’s appointment as Chief of Police for the Grande Prairie Police Service marks another major milestone in the formation of our community’s police service,” said Mayor Jackie Clayton.

“His extensive experience and exceptional leadership make him an excellent choice for this role.”

The Grande Prairie Police Commission says the decision to appoint Lakusta comes after an extensive search and evaluation process.

“His proven leadership, strategic mindset, and dedication to community safety make him the ideal candidate to lead the Grande Prairie Police Service,” said Dan Wong, Grande Prairie Police Commission chair.

“We look forward to working closely with Mr. Lakusta as we establish a police service that reflects the values and priorities of our community.”

The RCMP is currently still the police of jurisdiction in the city.

– Town & Country News

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