Fourteen deputy sheriffs are being cut from courthouses across Saskatchewan.
The Saskatchewan Government Employees Union (SGEU) confirms the layoffs are in Regina, Saskatoon, Weyburn, Prince Albert and North Battleford.
Deputy sheriffs escort prisoners, ensure security in courtrooms and screen people entering.
“The role of a deputy sheriff is vital to keeping Saskatchewan people safe,” explained SGEU president Bob Bymoen, adding that deputy sheriffs carry firearms.
SGEU believes the government’s decision is financially driven.
“I wasn’t there when the workers were told but from what I am hearing it was a monetary issue and they are going to contract this work out to somebody cheaper,” Bymoen said.
If that is the case, Bymoen is concerned about the level of service and safety that would be provided.
“They don’t have that level of training or are certified in the same way that are deputy sheriffs are,” Bymoen said.
“It is literally a step backwards when it comes to public safety.”
Our newsroom has contacted the Ministry of Justice for a response.