Cold Lake Victim Services sees Record Number of Referrals in 2016
For the last 25 years, when a traumatic event happens, Cold Lake Victim Services (VSU) has been there to help. Dave Zimmerman, with the organization, says assistance is there for “anyone impacted by crime or tragedy in the community.” VSU had a record breaking year with the 956 referrals, that helped 1328 people in 2016.
The non-profit organization works with the guidance of the RCMP, and has an liaison worker from both the RCMP Detachment and the Military. The board of directors are made up of volunteers, there are volunteer advocates that assist with referrals and three staff members; one of whom is Zimmerman. “It’s not just the people who have had a crime committed on them, it’s also the families of the people being accused of the crime that we assist,” Zimmerman explains the impact of crime can reach far.
VSU also assists in the court house, assisting with victim impact statements and other court documents. “We provide resource material and information on crime prevention, as well as, Solicitor General victim programs; such as, financial benefits, the victim impact statement and request for restitution,” explains Zimmerman. “Many victims have never been inside a court room. This can be confusing and traumatic experience, which can go on for many months or even years.” The trained VSU advocated offer court preparation, court support and keep victims up to date on court proceedings.
“At Cold Lake VSU, we are fortunate to have such a strong and diverse group of volunteers who generously donate hours of their time, each year,” Zimmerman says it’s thanks to these volunteers that programming is able to continue. “Volunteers are crucial to the ongoing success of our agency.”
In 2016, VSU celebrated some accomplishments; including,
- National Victims of Crime Awareness Week in May
- RCMP vs Fire-Rescue Charity Hockey Game
- Operation Red Nose
- Kids & Drugs Parent Information Sessions
- The PARTY Program
- Cold Lake Bully-Free
- Child Find ID Kits
- Parent Link Centre
- Bike Rodeo
- Pack the Patrol Car
Cold Lake VSU is a non-profit organization, the services are free and confidential. For more information or to make a contribution to the program, or presentation information, contact Dave Zimmerman at 780-594-3302 ext. 3. You can also find Cold Lake VSU online at coldlakevictimservices.com.