On October 19, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General of Alberta Kathleen Ganley along with Calgary Police Superintendent Darren Leggatt announced that the province would be investing an additional 4.5 million dollars to go towards various police-based victim services.
Ganley says this extra funding is essential to assure these programs can continue to aid victims of violence and that current funding is leaving the programs with a restrictive budget.
"Our government is committed to making sure that victims are supported and treated with courtesy, compassion and respect. That's why we're making an additional 4.5 million dollars to support programs and services that support victims of crime. Maximum funding for these organizations have been held flat for a number of years and we know that these increases are urgently needed in these areas."
Leggatt reverberated the call for expanded funding and says that it's the government and police departments responsibility to assure that victim's needs are being met.
"Everything we do in policing and in justice is ultimately about victims, it's all for the victims. Whether it's getting victims justice, or preventing further victimization through crime prevention, or keeping dangerous people off the streets."
Ganley pinpointed five key areas of investment: expanded support for police-based victim services units, support for survivors of domestic violence, aiding victims in court (via testimonial aids and enhanced closed-circuit televisions in court rooms), aiding indigenous populations and an increase in grant funding for restorative justice initiatives.
1.1 million dollars will go towards police-based victim services in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Grand Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, nearly doubling current funding in several of the included jurisdictions.
Ganley says they are still working on the details to support programs helping victims of domestic violence.
"The second area that will see increased funding is our domestic violence response. To survivors of domestic violence I want to say ' we are here for you'. We are committed to assuring you have to proper support that you need. We will have more information on this important domestic violence funding in the coming months."
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