About the B.C. Sheriff Services
Under the authority of the Sheriff Act, (section 2), the Interpretation Act (section 20), and the Police Act, (section 9), sheriffs provide for the safety and security of the courts of British Columbia and the participants in the judicial system.
Court Security Duties
At the Supreme Court level, the B.C. Sheriff Services (BCSS) oversees the jury administration and selection process for criminal and civil trials. The BCSS also supplies protection services and jury administration for Coroner’s court inquiries in British Columbia.
In addition, BCSS offers security services to various other agencies that may require its expertise. This may include public commissions or public hearings that require the protection of attendees due to security concerns.
BCSS responsibilities also include escorting accused persons, convicted persons and persons confined under the Mental Health Act from provincial and federal correctional institutions throughout the province. BCSS personnel can also be called upon to escort material witnesses, persons under hospital guard, individuals whose federal parole has been revoked and persons arrested in civil matters.
Additional duties include returning accused persons from out-of-province on outstanding warrants back to the province in which they stand charged under the Fugitive Return Program.
The Ceremonial Unit represents the BCSS at community and special events and attends funerals and memorials of serving and retired members, including:
- colour party or standard bearer duties
- ceremonial guard duties and
- honour guards at funerals
BCSS members (serving or retired) participate in the Ceremonial Unit on a voluntary basis.