By Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter /Medicine Hat News
MEDICINE HAT – After more than two decades with the Calgary Police Service, Mike Worden is adjusting to a new life and a new job in the Hat.
Worden took over as chief of the Medicine Hat Police Service late last year and says he’s had a good first month on the job.
“Honestly, it’s been a really good four weeks for me,” he said. “This is a strong organization with great people. My first four weeks here have validated my thoughts on the service that I had before I started.
“I’m impressed with the training and the facilities here. I haven’t been disappointed yet.”
The new chief has been living in an apartment near the downtown core for about a month, but will finally get the keys to his new place on Feb. 1.
“The place I’m in is pretty small, so I’m excited to get into my new home,” he said. “I’m ready to get the keys and move in.
“I think I’ll feel a lot more settled once I’m in the new place.”
Worden says he has a lot on his radar now that he is in charge, and has been focusing a lot on metal health issues.
“A lot of the calls we go out to are mental health related,” he said. “Down the line I want to look at the best ways to respond to these calls, and who the best people are to do that.
“We’re also looking at what supports are staff have for their mental health, and if we can do more.”
Worden says he also wants to work on making job roles and outlines more formal and set in stone going forward.
“With smaller services you can have people doing jobs and they just know to do certain things,” he said. “I want to make sure everyone knows their role, and if someone steps away from a job, work doesn’t get lost in that.”
Worden took over the job after Andy McGrogan retired in December. Worden says the two have talked on a few occasions since he took over.
“I’d be silly not to talk to Andy,” said Worden. “I’ve definitely leaned on him a few times and I know I will in the future. He did this job for so long, his experience is valuable.
“I can’t meet up with him, but I look forward to sitting down with him again in the future.”
Worden rose to the rank of superintendent in Calgary before accepting the job in the Hat. He says he is still getting used to the new title.
“I’m getting better with it, but sometimes I’ll still catch myself asking where the chief is,” he joked. “It’s pretty surreal, but I’m just proud to be able to represent this service and our city.”