More sheriffs destined for Victoria courtrooms

Hiring freeze saw numbers dwindle, cases delayed

Delays to courtroom proceedings could be eased, after the province agreed to hire five new sheriffs for courtrooms in Victoria.

The new additions come after a hiring freeze caused the number of sheriffs in Victoria to dwindle to 26, from 35 in previous years.

The problem came to a head in April, when several trials had to be delayed because no sheriff was available to oversee the courtroom. An impaired driving trial, a handful of family cases and others were rescheduled.

“I think it’s definitely a move in the right direction,” Dean Purdy, chair of BCGEU’s corrections and sheriff services component, said of the plan to bring more sheriffs to Victoria.

“It will help to remove the pain courts have felt from the past year. We’ve seen on many cases judges around the province refuse to run court because of a lack of sheriffs.”

It’s a judge’s decision whether to hold court without a sheriff, but safety can be a concern, Purdy said. He added B.C. sheriffs left the province for better-paying jobs elsewhere during the hiring freeze.

Province-wide, 36 newly trained sheriffs will start overseeing courtrooms. Their training starts Aug. 31, meaning the first sheriff wouldn’t start full-time duties until December.

Solicitor General Shirley Bond said in a statement: “Because our primary goal continues to be ensuring the safety and security of people in our provincial courtrooms, the ministry reviewed our budget and reallocated funding to increase auxiliary hours and hire additional sheriffs.”

She added the ministry plans to train more sheriffs early next year.

In B.C., sheriffs bring accused offenders in custody to and from courtrooms, oversee courtroom safety, execute civil warrants and deliver wanted people to other provinces through the Con Air program.

Just Posted

More wind storms to hit Vancouver Island, expected to taper off for Christmas Day

Another special weather statement in effect for evening of Dec. 19

Councillor criticizes board overseeing wastewater treatment project

Coun. Judy Brownoff accuses project board of ignoring public input

Catch last call and a cheap ride home: Late night buses coming to Victoria in 2019

New plan will extend service on weekends with last trip leaving downtown at 3 a.m.

West Shore RCMP investigating after parking lot carjacking in Langford

Man was thrown from his vehicle near Millstream Road McDonald’s Monday night

Courtesy parking tickets invite Victoria to pay it forward

Christmas program to cut drivers a break in the city has run for more than two decades

Santa visits some of Victoria General Hospital’s littlest patients

Santa flew in to the hospital via air ambulance helicopter

READER POLL: Do you have turkey or ham for Christmas dinner?

What are you having for Christmas dinner? Canadians gobbled up 3.3 million… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 18, 2018

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

UBC study could spare cancer patients from side effects of radiation

Her research has drawn a connection of Chromosome 6 genes to pulmonary fibrosis susceptibility.

‘Laverne & Shirley’ star, ‘Big’ director Penny Marshall dies

Marshall died of complications from diabetes on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, at her Hollywood Hills home. She was 75.

B.C. Court of Appeal to rule in terror case that centres on RCMP conduct

B.C.’s appeal court is scheduled to release a decision today on a couple whose guilty verdict over plotting to blow up the provincial legislature was thrown out by a lower court judge.

Trump backs off on demand for $5 billion to build a border wall

Congress and President Donald Trump continue to bicker over his demand that lawmakers fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Canadian detained in China, not clear if related to two other detentions

Reports suggest the person is not a diplomat or entrepreneur doing business in China.

Trudeau sees 2019 election as choice between positive Liberals, divisive Tories

Trudeau is drawing much the same battle lines that propelled the Liberals to a come-from-behind victory in 2015

Most Read