Staff Sgt. Dave Uppal spoke at the service for Marlene Swift at the Salvation Army on May 23. Swift was the long-time program manager for the North Coast Victims Services. (Ed Evans / The Northern View)

Staff Sgt. Dave Uppal spoke at the service for Marlene Swift at the Salvation Army on May 23. Swift was the long-time program manager for the North Coast Victims Services. (Ed Evans / The Northern View)

Service honours Marlene Swift’s life and work with North Coast Victims Services

RCMP, Prince Rupert residents attend a ceremony for Swift from inside the Salvation Army on May 23

On a somber afternoon, inside the Prince Rupert Salvation Army church, community members and RCMP dressed in Red Serge attended the service for Marlene Swift, formerly the programs manager for Victim Services.

Swift had struggled with addictions for years and later suffered from a traumatic experience. In 1989, she became an addictions counsellor for the Salvation Army and worked for six months as an alcohol and drug awareness co-ordinator for the Tsimshian Tribal Council.

Staff Sgt. Dave Uppal spoke on behalf of the RCMP

“Marlene was a wonderful person who touched many lives over the years. Her dedication and hard work as a Victim Services Coordinator for the Prince Rupert RCMP had a rippling effect from coast to coast across Canada on the relationships she built with the many officers that were posted to Prince Rupert over the last 20 years. Marlene was a unique individual that is going to be missed for her hard work along the North Coast and for just being there as a friend to many people,” he said.

READ MORE: Heart of our city – Prince Rupert’s Marlene Swift proves she’s a survivor

In 2002, she was hired on by the RCMP to lead the Victims Services program on the North Coast. In the pamphlet handed out at the service there was a message from Dee Stewart, the Inspector and the Officer in Charge of Indigenous Policing in B.C.

“Prince Rupert was my first RCMP posting. As an Indigenous member, Marlene was a comfort to myself and several other Indigenous members who were there at the same time and many that followed me. Many of us refer to her as our Kokum and she filled a void for us in our time there. She was loved by many,” Stewart said.

Swift passed away on May 2, 2019. She was 71 years old.

There will be luncheon honouring victims and survivors of crime at the Highliner Inn on Tuesday, May 28, at 11:30 a.m.

READ MORE: Three-day forum coming for North Coast victims and survivors of crime week

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