B.C.'S UNION SINCE 1919

Amendment to the Sheriff Powers, Duties and Responsibilities Regulation regarding Exigent Circumstance - BCGEU


The BCGEU is pleased to announce that – thanks to the lobbying efforts of the Component 1 executive and members – the provincial government has agreed to an amendment of the regulations that govern the work of sheriffs in B.C.

All sheriffs have now been granted peace officer status in "exigent" circumstances. This means that they have the authority to act and assist police and/or the public while in the line of duty to protect the public from life-threatening situations.

"The members of Component 1 have been instrumental in emphasizing to government the importance of these changes," said Dean Purdy, BCGEU Vice President for Corrections and Sheriff Services. "This truly recognizes the skills and training that our sheriff members already possess, and our component executive will continue to increase the profile and scope of duties of B.C.'s deputy sheriffs."

Previously, in order to act in such situations, sheriffs could only be granted Special Constable status from Police Services – an unnecessarily time-consuming delay. This is no longer the case as sheriffs can act immediately when faced with qualifying situations.

This change not only recognizes the skills and training BCGEU members in Sheriff Services already have but also expands their duties outside of courthouses and provides an extra level of safety to the public.

This much-welcomed change puts B.C. at the forefront of providing responsive and flexible law enforcement to enhance public safety. 

The amendment reads as follows and is in effect now:

In addition to the duties and responsibilities in the Act and in any other provincial or federal enactment, sheriffs have the following duties and responsibilities:

a) providing assistance to a police officer, if


I. the sheriff is present on the scene in the course of undertaking other duties or responsibilities of a sheriff, and

II. the police officer advises the sheriff that the police officer requires immediate assistance;

b) providing assistance to a police officer, if the police officer advises the sheriff that the police officer requires assistance in dealing with a riot or other situation of social unrest or potential social unrest;

c) intervening to prevent the death of or serious harm to a human in an exigent circumstance that the sheriff encounters in the course of undertaking other duties or responsibilities of a sheriff.



Download PDF of notice here.



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