February has been a heavy month in terms of violent crime.
The body of Sheldon Wolf, a visitor from Saskatchewan who went missing from southwest Calgary, was discovered in the rural Airdrie area Feb. 4. It was later deemed he had died as the result of a homicide.
Then, on Feb. 17, the body of local teen Kalix Langenau was found in the CrossIron Mills mall area. His death is also being investigated as a homicide.
Following this, graphic details were provided to a Calgary courtroom of the horrific attack Airdrie’s Dawn Warden suffered in June 2019.
While we cannot overlook the tragic nature of these incidents, it is also vital we acknowledge the struggle Airdrie and District Victims Assistance Society (ADVAS) – which supports victims of crime or tragedy – is currently facing.
As a police-based victim services unit, the non-profit receives up to $150,000 from the province each year; however, that amount is not in line with the growing number of cases ADVAS takes on.
2019 was another record-setting year for the unit, with overall cases, according to a Feb. 21 press release, increasing by 56 per cent – from 2,752 files in 2018 to 4,305 in 2019.
In November 2019, ADVAS asked Airdrie City council for a one-time bridging grant of $40,000 – which will be considered during council’s 2020 budget deliberations. ADVAS also continues to ask the province to review program funding models.
Victim support is essential and we encourage residents to voice this with council and their MLA.