View Royal joins call to reinstate special constable status for hospital security guards

(File Photo)

The Town of View Royal is throwing its voice behind the City of Victoria's call to reinstate special constable status for hospital security guards.

The move would help free up time for officers in the municipalities who may currently be required to watch over patients under the mental health act, according to View Royal.

The municipality has written a letter to the Minister of Public Safety, and has made a motion to the Union of BC Municipalities encouraging other mayors to join the call.

About two weeks ago, the City of Victoria approved a motion for its mayor to write a letter to the minister calling for special constables to be reinstated.

View Royal’s mayor, David Screech, says police officers in the West Shore are spending too much time in hospitals supervising people who are brought in under the mental health act.

He says special constables would be able to look after those patients, allowing police officers to get back out into their communities.

“In the last year on the West Shore, the mental health calls are up 36 per cent. That’s why it’s become that much of an issue,” said Screech.

“During COVID, there’s been a lot more mental health calls, and that’s just that many more hours that are being taken up in the hospitals,” he said.

Special constable status for hospital security guards in B.C. was revoked more than 20 years ago by the province, in the wake of a patient’s suicide attempt and lawsuit.