The Winnipeg Police Service has a team of volunteers who offer guidance and information to victims of crime.
One of those volunteers is Ajay Kumar. Over the past 11 years he has dedicated over 2,000 hours to the Victim Services Section – the equivilent of nearly an entire year of full-time work.
“I feel that it pays off somehow helping someone in need,” said Kumar.
Once a week, after finishing work at his regular job working with computers in information technology, Kumar heads to the Victims Services office. He calls victims of crime and lets them know of various resources available to them. Before picking up the phone, he gathers background information about the case.
“We know a lot over here about the court system, law enforcement and resources that are available. We can provide this to others who do not have any idea what is going on,” said Kumar.
Kumar was recognized with a volunteer service award from the police earlier this year. An honour he says came unexpectedly.
“I was so happy and emotional as my nature is not to look back. It’s to help and move on,” said Kumar.
He’s one of 40 victim services caseworkers volunteering with the Winnipeg Police Service. Some of them are university students, retired teachers, social workers. They all have different backgrounds.
In the sudden aftermath of a crime or accident many questions remain. Victims and witnesses are often still in shock.
Their needs are front and centre at the Victim Service Section. Last year alone, team members were assigned to nearly 5,000 incidents where they made contact with victims of crime.
Victims Services volunteers provide:
Emotional supportInformation regarding their caseReferral to other appropriate agenciesHome & hospital visitsCrime prevention information
“We want to make their life more comfortable so they can come out from this trauma as fast as possible and reduce their stress level,” explained Kumar.
Patrol Sergeant Natalie Aitken oversees the Victim and Volunteer Services Division.
“Sometimes the information is about victim impact statements and how to complete them. Sometimes it’s providing court dates of accused who have been arrested,” said Aitken.
The team shares important information victims and witnesses may need to know as their case moves forward.
This victim-centred service started in 1982. Volunteers work alongside officers and a social worker.
If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer caseworker, call 204-986-6350.
Better Winnipeg is a weekly feature of Global News that highlights people, events and organizations that make Winnipeg a better place to live. Send your story ideas to [email protected]老域名出售.