The union representing deputy sheriffs says 14 jobs have been cut in Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert, North Battleford and Weyburn.
The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union says losing the deputy sheriffs will jeopardize public safety.
They screen people entering a courthouse, operate detention areas, escort prisoners inside the courthouse, provide courtroom security and transport prisoners by vehicle.
Union president Bob Bymoen says it’s his understanding that the work will be contracted out to commissionaires who don’t have the same level of training and are not armed.
Justice Minister Gord Wyant says it’s 16 positions, not 14, being cut. He also says the people who held the positions were never armed.
Wyant says they will be looking to hire out a security company to do the work for less money.
Bymoen says government’s mismanagement of public funds is to blame for the job cuts.