Megan Hanson

Sylvan Lake and Blackfalds partner for Victims Services

Sylvan Lake and Blackfalds have partnered to offer service for victims of crimes.

The Central Alberta Victim & Witness Support Society, Blackfalds RCMP Detachment, now provides regional support for victim services for Sylvan Lake and the surrounding area.

This past August, the Town of Sylvan Lake sent a letter of support for the Central Alberta Victim & Witness Support Society to provide service, on an interim basis, until the province begins its new redesign of victim services across the province.

The Province announced a new governance model for victim services in July.

The program will shift to a four-zone model, aligning with RCMP districts. Currently, there are 62 existing JSG-funded victim service units across Alberta, all of which operate with independent boards of directors.

The new model proposes to collapse the existing boards and replace them with one zonal board for each zone.

Each zone will then have its own centralized professional support staff that will provide strategic, logistical and administrative support to the front-line caseworkers within each community.

The program is not ready, leaving Sylvan Lakers with a gap in coverage.

“In 2019, our local victim services unit folded and since then we have received a patchwork of services,” said Sylvan Lake Mayor Megan Hanson. “Our RCMP members have provided many of the services offered by victim services, however, local victims of crime have gone without services such as court support.

“In 2020, Council named the restoration of victim services to Sylvan Lake as one of their top priorities outside of their municipal authority. We have met with numerous ministers requesting the prompt return of the service. We’re happy to partner with the Central Alberta Victim & Witness Support Society to provide much-needed service to Lakers until the provincial plan is ready.”

The Central Alberta Victim & Witness Support Society will begin serving Sylvan Lake immediately.

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