Sheriff shortage addressed
The province has moved to address the shortage of sheriffs in Victoria. Sheriffs from elsewhere in the Province are being flown in to help with ongoing staffing shortages.
The shortage resulted in two accused drug dealers walking free.
BC Justice Minister Suzanne Anton says British Columbians should be happy there was money put aside to address the problem in the last budget. "I have 2.6 million dollars to add extra sheriffs this year, 56 new sheriff's by October."
Dan Purdy head of the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union says sheriffs are given the option to stay the weekend while assigned to work in Victoria, which includes a daily allowance and hotel accommodation. Purdy says the move doesn't solve the shortage issue because it costs more due to such things as hotels, travel, meals and overtime.
The province has increased the size of the second graduating class to 32 from 24 sheriffs at the Justice Institute, meaning 56 new sherifs will have graduated by October.
It’s unclear how many of those sheriffs will be assigned to the Victoria courthouse.
The number of court sheriffs in Victoria has dropped from 35 to 22 over the past 10 years.