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New RCMP unit to spotlight domestic, sexual violence calls

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The Grande Prairie RCMP detachment has deployed a new six-member unit specifically aimed at tackling an upward trend in both domestic and sexual violence in the region.

The year-long pilot project is meant to provide quicker response times to those reports and help act as a liaison between potential victims and available social services in the city. Those include PACE, the Caribou Child & Youth Centre, and Alberta Health Services.

Grande Prairie RCMP Superintendent Sean Curry says he is thrilled to get the project off the ground, believing it will make a tangible difference to those most at risk.

“These members are experienced police officers, as these are complex investigations. They will be receiving further training, and they will bring that training and experience to assist and protect our most vulnerable victims in our community.”

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Superintendent Curry adds the unit will have flexible work hours to ensure that there will members available throughout the day and night to help reduce response times. He adds he is honoured to be able to put into effect something he believes will make a big difference to the community, and couldn’t do so without the support of local residents, and decision-makers.

“Prior to my coming here, that was one of the things that attracted me here. There was a lot of support from the local government for pilot projects, to try out new ideas. To have that flexibility and the confidence from the community and through our command chain is great because it allows us to try these things to better the outcomes for people in the community.”

It’s the second major pilot project launched by the Grande Prairie RCMP in the last year. Earlier in 2020, it was the first detachment to offer online reporting before it was made available across Alberta.

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