Sgt. Kelly McLean announced Monday that Ottawa-based Versaterm Inc. had decided to distribute this year’s funds to the Victims Services unit of the police department, the Special Olympics and the Victoria Hospital’s Give a Little Life Day.
“Every year, our software supplier for the Police Service, Versaterm … sets aside a small percentage of money that … Chief Cooper and the administrative team have to make a very difficult decision on how we’re going to distribute that money within the community,” McLean said.
This year’s tough decision led to a windfall for the aforementioned community organizations, and Victims Services co-ordinator Helen Christensen was present at the police station on Monday to accept her unit’s $1,000 cheque in person.
At the press conference, Sgt. McLean noted that Christensen celebrated her 19th year of service last Wednesday, which makes her by far the longest-serving Victims Services co-ordinator in Saskatchewan.
“Don’t let her youthful good looks fool you -- 19 years of service with the Prince Albert Police Service and going strong,” McLean said. “She is the core of our Victims Services unit and we certainly would not be where we are today without her … She’s a wonderful person and a true asset to our police service.”
Christensen was more than willing to return the sergeant’s compliments. She pointed out that McLean played a vital role in the creation of Victims Services and thanked him on behalf of her staff.
We use the funds from donations to assist victims in sometimes very difficult circumstances. - Helen Christensen
“Kelly is a very humble man,” she said. “Sgt. McLean is actually the person who initiated the program. It was through his foresight and his sensitivity to our community’s needs that he started to research and then subsequently applied for funding to operate the Victims Services program through our police service here, and is a real credit to our community in that it was his hard work and commitment to the program that has sustained us through this time period.”
Victims Services is not funded through tax dollars, but instead relies on offender surcharge money to maintain operations.
As a result, any donation goes a long way.
“We use the funds from donations to assist victims in sometimes very difficult circumstances,” Christensen said. “So the money will be well used in that capacity.”
McLean thanked Versaterm for the donations as well as the administrative team at the police service for their decision, further highlighting the importance of the extra funds.
“Money’s very tight here,” he said. “We make sure that every dollar is squeezed, every nickel is squeezed very carefully within the police service, and I can tell you that that tradition continues very strongly with the Victims Services unit. These people are very, very careful about the money that we spend.”