If you have a knack for caring, volunteering with Victim Services may be the perfect fit for you.
Victim Services advocates provide emotional support, information and referrals on scene and/or over the phone to victims of crime and to individuals or groups impacted by a traumatic event (ex. sudden death). Advocates work in an office in the downtown Red Deer detachment, located at 4602 – 51 Avenue.
Advocates are asked to complete at least four shifts every month (roughly twelve hours per month). This office time can be completed in one block, but is usually broken down into smaller time slots. Of course we work around vacations, busy periods of employment and family commitments that may arise.
While in the office, advocates are: making first contact or follow-up calls with victims to offer services; meeting with victims to provide information or support by explaining or assisting victims with completing forms; conducting court preparation sessions; and sometimes assisting staff with administrative functions. Regularly, advocates are scheduled to assist in court accompaniments.
Advocates are asked to sign-up and carry the on-call call-out phones for two week periods. These two advocates act as a dispatch for the Victim Services Unit. These advocates may be contacted by the RCMP when Victim Services assistance has been requested. They will in turn contact the volunteers who have signed up to be available to attend crisis calls and will follow-up with the detachment and advise if volunteers are available to attend.
Advocate meetings are held the first Wednesday of every month (except for July and August). Advocates are required to attend these meetings.
Opportunities for ongoing training
Throughout the year, there will be several training opportunities locally, provincially and abroad. Advocates are required to keep their training up to date and to take advantage of various different types of training throughout the year that are provided and paid for by our program.
In the past, we have had people commit to becoming advocates because they think it will be a fast-paced role working side-by-side with the police to assist a victim(s) right after a crime. The reality is that, although 90 per cent of our referrals come from the RCMP, most do NOT require immediate, in-person response. Very few call outs require advocates 'on scene'. Advocates provide most of their assistance to victims over the phone. The work done by our volunteer advocates makes a difference!
Please see the Victim Services program overview (pdf) for complete details.
Basic Qualifications for a Volunteer Advocate:
- 18 years or older
- Canadian Citizen / Landed Immigrant for at least five years
- Police Enhanced Security Clearance
- Successfully complete Alberta Solicitor General On-line Training
Advocate Application Process
In general, the annual application process follows the following format:
January - March:
Accepting applications for volunteer positions
March - April:
Cursory Local Index checks
May - September:
Security clearance forms
Background check and security clearance
Begin attendance at monthly meetings
September - December:
E-Learning – online course and review sessions
January - March:
Photographs – security badges issued
In-house training (TACT and Court)
Crisis calls with experienced volunteers
Completed application forms can be submitted either by mail or by dropping them off at the front counter of the downtown Red Deer RCMP detachment, 4602 – 51st Avenue, Red Deer, AB, T4N 2N2, in a sealed envelope.
If you have questions regarding the application process, completion of the forms or the requirements of the position, contact Red Deer Victim Services at 403-406-2345 or call the Program Coordinator at 403-406-2341.
Auxiliary Constable program
The RCMP Auxiliary Constable Program offers specially trained volunteers the opportunity to contribute to their communities with experience they acquire from volunteering with the police. Auxiliary constables are unpaid volunteers recruited to complement the work of regular RCMP members on patrol; they perform community policing and crime prevention duties.
Auxiliary constables are often required to commit a certain number of hours per year. Due to provincial and territorial regulations, auxiliary constables are not permitted to carry firearms.
To be considered as an auxiliary constable, candidates must:
- Be a Canadian citizen of good character
- Have a mature and responsible attitude
- Be at least 19 years old
- Have or obtain a high school diploma or equivalent
- Possess a valid driver's license in good standing
- Be prepared to perform the duties of the volunteer position
- Undergo RCMP security clearance
- Have no business or employment that may cause a conflict of interest
- Have Standard First Aid and Basic CPR training
Applicants can request the RCMP Volunteer Application Form by emailing the Auxiliary Constable Program office. Applicants may drop off their application forms at the downtown Red Deer RCMP detachment at 4602 51 Avenue, Red Deer, or call 403-406-2382 for more information.