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Local Police Need Cyber Expert, Says Chief


LETHBRIDGE: The technological world may be the new frontier in policing, according to Tom McKenzie, chief of the Lethbridge Regional Police Service. McKenzie says he'd like to see a new position solely devoted to policing through technologies like the web, texting, and social media. The new position is one of the proposed goals in the police service's new budget.

"We receive a tremendous amount of intelligence and information now through computers, through text messaging, all of those things now," said McKenzie. "And we have to be able to work with that." He says adding a position that focuses entirely on gathering information through such technological mediums is necessary as crooks use more and more sophisticated ways to get ahead of authorities. "Offenders are using technology to facilitate their crime. The incidents of individuals who use technology to protect themselves from detection are growing, as is the ability to detect police presence. Such tactics are very difficult to keep up with."

Another new initiative McKenzie says could help the police service moving forward is to hire more "civilian" staff to work in offices, which would free up some extra uniformed officers to get back to pounding the pavement. "Very quickly, I want to reinforce that we're not looking to reduce police officers. We need police officers present in our community. But there are a lot of things that we can provide civilians to do certain jobs," said McKenzie. "With proper training and engagement, they could be there to support our community and support our front line police officers. That would allow us to put more police officers on the street doing police work." McKenzie says new civilian hires would help raise Lethbridge's cop to population ratio, which is lower than the national average. New concepts like these won't be finalized until city council gives final approval after budget deliberations.

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 4/19/2014 11:31:33 AM
Source: Marion Warnica, Country 95 News - photo by Country 95 News: police headquarters
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