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Ever considered being a B.C. sheriff?

Provincial government is currently hiring deputy sheriffs, including in the Sea to Sky Corridor.
A BC Sheriff Service patch on an officer's uniform.

Have you ever thought about being a sheriff? Did you even know that B.C. had sheriffs? 

There have been sheriffs in this province since as early as 1857. 

Their role has evolved and been centralized since they were expected to be tax collectors back in 1860, or even executioners at Oakalla prison up to the 1960s.

Today, approximately 500 sheriffs work within our justice system throughout the province. 

What do they do

Sheriffs are provincial peace officers who provide security within the court system in B.C. in Provincial, Supreme and Appeal courts.

They also transport people within the province who have business related to the courts, including those accused or convicted of a crime.

Among other duties, they also conduct intelligence gathering and risk assessment.

Unlike other law enforcement agencies, for example police officers who may have arrested someone who appears before a judge, the sheriff's role is neutral within the courts.


The British Columbia Sheriff Service (BCSS) is currently hiring for upcoming deputy sheriff positions including in the Sea to Sky Corridor. 

The next sheriff recruit training class runs this spring and is anticipated to have 60 new recruits. 

The application is open until Jan. 19.

There will be two other intake periods in 2024.

Over the next few years, BCSS anticipates that future training class sizes will be 20 recruits or more, according to a spokesperson from the Ministry of the Attorney General.

If hired, new recruits attend mandatory Sheriff Recruit Training (SRT) at the Sheriff Academy at the Justice Institute of B.C. While attending the 14-week training, new hires receive a salary equivalent to $48,729.07 per year. 

However, new hires have to agree to stay in the sheriff position for two years or repay their training costs.

Once finished training and working full-time, the annual salary for a sheriff ranges from about $68,000 to $77,500.

Why hiring?

Attorney General of British Columbia Niki Sharma acknowledged that there is currently a shortage of sheriffs in B.C., which can impact court cases if there isn't a sheriff available when needed.

Sharma said, at times, sheriffs have been recruited elsewhere because of their skills.

"The sheriffs are so well trained and they do such a great job in our court system that we've seen a real recruitment effort sometimes by the other police officer ... agencies to have our sheriffs," she said. 

"We've actually put a push back the other way to keep our sheriffs and to grow our service."

Therefore, the provincial government has instituted a recruitment payment of $10,000 per year, on top of their salary.

Increase in wages?

Asked about a possible increase in wages to help retain sheriffs, Sharma said it is something the ministry is looking at. 

"I've been hard at work on that since becoming Attorney General because of the shortages that sheriffs are facing. We did a big … independent report on what the specific issues were, and what we needed to work on. One of them that came through that was wages," she said. 

"The recruitment or retention bonus that we just recently announced is kind of an interim measure. ... We're going to continue to work to make sure that the wages also reflect that, but the retention and recruitment bonus, I think, is a part of that effort."

While neither Sharma nor the ministry could say what the current demographic of the force is, Sharma encouraged folks from diverse backgrounds to apply, including Squamish Nation members in the Sea to Sky.

"We have an Indigenous strategy that we're working on actively, and a big part of that is increasing Indigenous people in all levels of our justice system. And I think a sheriff is a good example of that, too."

Find out more or apply on the government of B.C.'s website.