Lethbridge Police Victim and Witness Services Unit celebrated its 30th anniversary Thursday night. The event, which was originally supposed to take place last year, was pushed back because of the pandemic. Since 1991 over 500 volunteers have put in 480,000 hours while supporting more than 6,000 families and youth. Program Manager for Victim Services Catherine Pooley says they have a wide variety of volunteers from all walks of life.
“I can’t say enough good things about the people who choose to come and do this work. We have some people who are retired and looking for something that fills the void they lost when they weren’t working. We have some people that are criminal justice students or psychology students looking to see if they are in the right field and if they can do this work when they are actually out there. We have some people that just have giant hearts and want to give back, so we have a really interesting cross-section of people and an incredible wealth of knowledge. People in the service sector, people in the criminal justice sector and it just is incredible to see who chooses to give their time to us,” said Catherine Pooley, Program Manager of the Victim Services/Witness Unit for the Lethbridge Police Service.
Grace Couturier who is the longest-running volunteer with Victim Services explains why she has been with the unit for this long.
“My dad was dying of cancer and he’d always taught us to give back to someone. I read it in the paper and decided it looked like a good place for me to start to be able to help people. I also volunteered with the dying at that time and this has been what’s kept my heart,” said Grace Couturier, Volunteer of 22 years with the Victim/Witness Unit.
The unit is currently recruiting more volunteers. More details on how to become a volunteer can be found here.