The head of the union representing sheriffs in BC says deputy sheriffs are being transported from Kamloops to Victoria to help cover the shortage, which resulted in cases being dropped.
The B.C. Sheriff Services are responsible for the security and prisoner handling at the provincial courthouses across the province.
“As a result of the ongoing sheriff shortage, Kamloops Sheriff Services has begun flying deputy sheriffs to the Victoria courthouse on Sundays for overtime, taking care of their meals and accommodation,” said the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union in a statement.
Sheriffs are given the option to stay the weekend while assigned to work in Victoria, which includes a daily allowance and hotel accommodation.
Deputy sheriffs from Vancouver have also been requested to work at the Victoria courthouse.
While the shortage is province-wide, the number of court sheriffs in Victoria has dropped from 35 to 22 over the past 10 years.
This arrangement is expected to continue for about the next six months.
The Sheriff problem in Victoria has been escalating in recent weeks, resulting in two drug dealers walking free all because of the sheriff shortage.