Our Board

2022/2023 Board Officers

Rachel Hopf

Chair & AAPG Representative to the Police Act Review
Lethbridge Police Commission
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Rachel was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. After earning her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Manitoba in 2009, she chose to move to and make Lethbridge, Alberta, her new home. Since moving to Alberta, Rachel has placed great importance on connecting to and giving back to her new home, particularly in areas that impact citizens on a personal level. Rachel is a partner in MacLachlan McNab Hembroff LLP where she has accumulated ten years of legal experience in many areas of law including civil and commercial litigation, contract, administrative, governance, and professional responsibility. She is a member of the Lethbridge Bar Association, the Alberta Civil Trial Lawyers Association, and the Canadian Bar Association. Born out of a willingness and desire to engage with her community, its citizens, and organizations, Rachel also has several years of involvement in various boards and committees, including the Lethbridge Police Commission, Lethbridge Family Services, and YWCA Lethbridge & District. Rachel’s interest and dedication to serving as a director on the AAPG Board arises from a combination of factors, including her own experience with and in military organizations, particularly serving as a reservist with the Fort Garry Horse (Reconnaissance Crewman), her legal career and background, as well as being a friend and family member to persons who have served as police officers in various Canadian communities. She feels honoured by the opportunity to serve on the AAPG Board and work alongside its other members who bring forward a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. Rachel shares her home with her wonderful and supportive husband, Blaine, and their pampered cat, Jackie. Competing with her passion for the law and volunteering, is a passion for world travel, scuba diving, and most often combining the two.

Ian Sanderson

Vice Chair & AAPG Conference Committee member
St. Albert Policing Committee
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Ian completed a 31 year career in the RCMP in 2011.  During his career, Ian was posted in various locations in Northern Alberta, serving in frontline policing roles, Forensic Identification, Unit Commander and Regional Advisory NCO.   He also worked on numerous VIP visits and high profile events including the 2010 Winter Olympics and G20 Summit in Toronto. Ian has been a front line responder and operations commander for major civil emergencies including evacuations for flooding and wildfires. Ian completed his career overseeing drug and organized crime prevention programs in the Prairie Provinces, Northwest and Nunavut Territories.  Ian has researched synthetic or ‘Club’ drugs associated to EDM events and oversaw a clandestine lab and methamphetamine prevention strategy in Alberta. Where ever he was posted, he was involved in Community Policing and prevention. He also worked as  volunteer for community organizations such as Victims Assistance, Suicide Prevention, Family Crisis and Women’s Shelters to name a few.

In 2005, Ian was appointed to the Premiers Methamphetamine Task Force and was technical advisor in the development of Alberta’s Drug Endangered Children Legislation. He is an accomplished public speaker and has presented across Canada, in the United States and Venezuela. Ian was appointed as a Member of the Order of Merit for Police Forces by Governor General Michaëlle Jean in 2009.

In 2011 he joined Edmonton Northlands as manager of Security Administration and finished as Director of Operations in November 2020.  During his time at Northlands, Ian oversaw risk assessment and management, and security operations for hundreds of events including the evacuation centers that were established at Northlands for the Slave Lake Wildfire in 2011 and Fort McMurray Wildfire in 2016.

Ian joined the City of St. Albert Policing committee in January 2021. He is married with two adult children and four grandchildren.

Werner Dressler

Treasurer, AAPG Conference Committee & Policy Committee member
Town of Fort Macleod
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Originally from Vancouver,  British Columbia Werner J Dressler moved to Fort Macleod after his position with the Vancouver Ports Police K-9 Explosive Detection Unit was dissolved to work out of the Fort Macleod RCMP Detachment as general duty member where he then transferred to the Alberta Special Constable Position with the Town of Fort Macleod that now is the Alberta Peace Officer level 2 for 9 years  , he currently sits as a Town Councillor for the Town of Fort Macleod, after being elected in 2017. His Board Appointments include the Fort Macleod Crime Prevention Advisory Committee, Fort Macleod Traffic Safety Committee, Rural Crime Watch, Fort Macleod Drug Awareness Coalition and four additional Boards. Outside his Town role Werner is a Lieutenant in COATS assigned to 2384 RCACC on the Blood Reserve as the Administration Officer and Unit Public Affairs Representative working with youth 12 to 18. He holds a BA in English Literature and Culture from SFU and a BS in Environmental Engineering from UBC. He is also an instructor under the Firearms Act and Regulation for the Province of Alberta teaching Non Restricted and Restricted Firearms Safety. Along with his wife and two children own and operate a Animal Boarding Facility where the board dogs, horses and raise cattle. They also rehabilitate dogs seized from drug houses used for protection, so they me be reintroduced back into society so they are not euthanized and able to go to a new home through adoption. A total of 16 dogs seized by the RCMP under the Dangerous Dog Act have been rehomed. Werner works closely with the Towns CAO in assisting the Bylaw Officer in apprehending dangerous dogs when required. He also does public engagements on Fire Arm Safety with local libraries in public engagement, the Alberta Ranchers Association, the Alberta Veterinarian Association and many more. He has also done fraud awareness with seniors, work place violence, internet security and business fraud for the Fort Macleod Chambers of Commerce. Werner continues to be involved with his community and organizations and is honoured to be part of AAPG as a Director.

Lee Katchur

Secretary & AAPG HR Committee member
Camrose Police Commission
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Coming Soon!

Miles Thorson

Director & AAPG Representative to the AIPAB
Medicine Hat Police Commission
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Miles Thorson was born and raised in Regina, Sask and has made Medicine Hat his home for the past 28 years. Through the years, Miles has resided in and around Moose Jaw SK, and the Fraser Canyon and Lower Mainland of BC.

Early in his professional career, Miles was a member of the RCMP and part-time EMT for BC Provincial Ambulance. After that, Miles went into teaching, initially teaching in and around Moose Jaw before finding employment with Medicine Hat School Division #76.  For much of his career, Miles taught Special Education, Primary through Secondary.  However, the majority of his time was spent with Junior High Special Education students.  Towards the end of his teaching career, Miles also was a school counsellor and Junior High Humanities teacher.

After retirement, Miles transitioned into mediation.  For the past 10 years, Miles has been, and continues to be, a Provincial Civil Court mediator.  For the past 7 years, in private practice with M Thorson Mediations.

Miles supports the Medicine Hat community through volunteering.  He is starting his second year as a member of the Medicine Hat Police Commission.  Miles serves on the boards of Connaught Golf Club and the Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society, as well as Chair of the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede Risk Management Committee.

Miles is married to Cheryl, and has one married daughter who lives and works in Medicine Hat. He believes that Medicine Hat is a great place to live and raise a family.

Miles is proud to be a board member for AAPG and is eager to positively contribute on both a local and provincial level.

T.J Zhang

Director & AAPG HR Committee member
Calgary Police Commission
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Tongjie (TJ) Zhang is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Global Industrial Cyber Security Professional (GICSP) and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). TJ’s technical experience spans multiple industries including research and development, as well as consulting. TJ has successfully delivered a variety of projects and programs, including Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessment, Security Operation, Incident Response, Project Assurance, ICS/SCADA Security Assessment, Security & Infrastructure Design, PCI-DSS, DLP, SIEM deployment, SOX Compliance, ERM, GRC, Risk Assessment and Cybersecurity Maturity Assessment. TJ holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Calgary. His work in cybersecurity and privacy has been published and presented in prestigious international conferences as well as local business media. 
Outside of his profession, TJ strives to be an active community leader, who is currently a Board Member of Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) and a Public Member in the Council of the College of Alberta Dental Assistants (CADA), both appointed by Lieutenant Governor in Council of Alberta. TJ is also a Senator in the University of Calgary Senate, a Commissioner of Calgary Police Commission, and a Board Member of Alberta Association of Police Governance (AAPG) He served as Chair of the Livery Transport Advisory Committee of the City of Calgary Council, a Board Member of the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation of Alberta (CUDGC), a Board Member of Calgary Security Professionals Information Exchange Society (SPIE). Vice-President (Finance and Services) of the Graduate Students’ Association in the University of Calgary, Calgary Representative of the Alberta Graduate Council, Trustee of the Campus Trust and Vice-President Internal of Junior Chamber International (JCI) Calgary Chapter.

Shazia Amiri

Director, AAPG Policy Committee member & ALERT-CAC member
Edmonton Police Commission
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Born and raised in Edmonton, Shazia has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Manitoba. She is a Registered Social Worker (RSW) with the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) in good standing. Throughout her career, she has worked in various non-profits agencies, such as E4C, Boyle McCauley Health Centre, and Boyle Street Community Services as well as with the Edmonton Police Service working collaboratively with members on the Heavy Users of Service (HUoS) project. She has worked for the Government of Alberta since 2015 within the Ministry of Community and Social Services for the AISH program and Disability Services (PDD & FSCD) and currently, for the Ministry of Children’s Services. Within Children’s Services, she has held various positions including working with high risk youth, completing community assessments, as well as completing investigations for children in care. Through her personal journey and professional practice, she has gained knowledge in several areas such as racism, gender equity, poverty, homelessness, marginalization, addictions, mental health, trauma, justice/law enforcement and working with vulnerable populations, including Indigenous and refugee communities.

Gloria Brathwaite

Director & AAPG Conference Committee member
Fort Saskatchewan Policing Committee
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Gloria-social purpose proactive leader with strengths in a holistic approach, restorative practices, communication and collaboration. Adept at managing concurrent objectives to promote efficiency and influence positive outcomes.

Gloria is an experienced and energetic project/program manager, facilitator providing community development, process design, facilitation, training, coaching, and organization support services to private and public sector clients. 

Gloria’s work involves bringing people together to meet, problem-solve, and explore future possibilities. Gloria creates safe spaces to have meaningful discussions, share ideas, plan, and implement. Gloria is passionate about helping build resiliency in the human services and non-profit sectors.

Gloria holds education in sociology, social work, life and business coaching and restorative practices.

Gloria’s years in private practice, professional and executive roles within the public sector, and social purpose organizations have given her a broad range of experiences, including; business management, community development, grant writing, designing and facilitating meetings, workshops, training, discussions and group processes, and outcome and evaluation work.

Gloria enjoys working closely with organizations and groups to collaborate and help them get clear on issues and project outcomes. 

Dave McKenzie

Director
Town of Barrhead
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I was born and raised in Mossbank Saskatchewan and left the farm to seek out every farm boy’s dream which is to either play football for the Riders or join the RCMP!

The RCMP was the choice and I spent the next 26+ years working in smaller detachments in northern Alberta. Having grown up in a smaller community I found I was well suited for policing in small diverse settings. I’ve always inserted myself into the communities in a variety of roles and have always enjoyed working with youth. I trained in Judo and as I transferred into other communities, I would start local Judo clubs and have continued to teach judo to this day. I could see the benefit of this type of interaction with the community and in many occasions situations were resolved because of the personal relationship I had with the community.

On my retirement from the RCMP it was suggested that I should run for Town of Barrhead Council as the Municipal elections were taking place that fall. I was elected to council and completed 3, 3-year terms, then ran for Mayor and have just started my 2nd term in that capacity.

As if I didn’t have enough things on my plate, in 2008 I became a Traffic Safety Coordinator for the University of Alberta, Alberta Centre for Injury Control & Research. This started as a pilot project to work with a number or communities and assist them in dealing with a wide range of Traffic Safety issues. The project was very successful and Alberta Transportation took over the project and I became a Traffic Safety Consultant for the Office of Traffic Safety. In total I spent 9 years in that role with my region stretching from Westlock to Grande Cache. In this role I worked on projects involving ATV safety, Pedestrian training, young and senior drivers, commercial vehicles and bicycles. This allowed me to work in communities alongside enforcement agencies, school divisions, municipal staff and community groups. 

Through all of this I have dragged my wife, Grace along with me and she has been a supporter and cheerleader the entire time… well maybe not the entire time!!

We have an adult daughter and 3 teenage grandchildren who all reside nearby.

Victoria Chester

Executive Director
AAPG
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Victoria was born in Toronto and, as a child, moved to California’s Silicon Valley where she raised three children while working in several Real Estate related areas. Victoria’s husband Kevin was raised in Fort Macleod, and when their youngest daughter entered University, she and her husband sought out the quality of life in Southern Alberta by relocating back to Canada. After enjoying 28 years employment in Management roles, Victoria became an independent contractor providing Business Organization Consultation. She currently serves as the part-time Executive Director for the Alberta Association of Police Governance, and part-time Director of Advancement for Highway 3 Twinning Development Association. Victoria has a passionate history as a volunteer, having served on the Lethbridge Police Commission, Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, AAPG Board Treasurer, Lethbridge Subdivision and Development Appeals Board, the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) Lethbridge, and as the CHBA Alberta representative to the National Education & Training Advisory Committee. While in California, she served as an Executive Board Member of the South Bay Chapter of the National Association of Real Estate Appraisers and Co-Founded the California Association of Real Estate Appraisers (CAREA). While serving as South Bay Chapter President, CAREA was the leader in successfully lobbying the State of California to introduce Licensing and Certification of Real Estate Appraisers.  Victoria and her husband enjoy road trips to California in their electric car to spend time with their children and seven grandchildren.