Blue Line

Drumheller RCMP reinstate Victim Services Unit

September 13, 2023  By Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Sep. 13, 2023, Drumheller, Alta. – Drumheller RCMP Detachment Commander Staff Sergeant Rob Harms announced during the regular Monday, August 28 Drumheller town council meeting the detachment has recently reinstated its Victim Services Unit.

The Victim Services Unit (VSU) is a police-based service which helps to direct those who have been victimized by crime or other traumatic or tragic events, such as sudden death or overdose, to the appropriate resources within the community.

“It takes a special person to be in Victim Services,” S/Sgt Harms tells the Mail. “Not only must they care and really want to work with victims, but they need a lot of knowledge with the process, and that includes the judicial system and the policing side of things; I often refer to Victim Services as resource experts.”

S/Sgt Harms explains every community is mandated by the province to offer Victim Services, which is funded through the Alberta government, at no cost to the municipality or those accessing the services.


Funding and the local program are overseen by the Association of Communities Against Abuse (ACAA).

VSU program manager Jenn, who asked not to share her surname due to anonymity reasons, says there are things under the scope of providing these services she is just not able to do, but can guide victims to the appropriate resources. This can mean helping get victims into an emergency shelter if they are fleeing domestic or family violence, putting them in touch with counselling and other services, or even attending court with them if they are required to appear as a witness.

“It’s nice to have someone guide you at a time when you’re not entirely sure what’s going on and you’re at a loss and have someone to guide you back to your normal, or your new normal,” she says.

Referrals to the VSU are “typically done at the scene or during the investigation” by officers, though Jenn notes other first responders can also make these referrals, or during the court process by Crown prosecutors.

Victims can also reach out directly by email at, by phone at 403-821-5803, or in person at the Drumheller RCMP detachment.

While funding ensures the program can operate at no cost, there are some shortcomings. To help close those funding gaps the program is able to accept donations from individuals and businesses within the community, and donations over $20 are also eligible for a charitable tax deduction receipt.

– The Drumheller Mail

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