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Letter: Retired police officer asks Weyburn court house be reopened

Dana Pretzer wrote a letter-to-the-editor demanding that Weyburn's court house be opened again to regular use.
Court House1-4916
The Weyburn court house is a historic landmark in the city, but hasn't been used fully even with major renovations in recent years.

To the Editor:

After 35 years of being in law enforcement and now retired, there are a few things that need to be said. As most of you know, after a very expensive renovation, the local court house was closed and Weyburn became a circuit point for provincial court.

Basically, that means no QB court and no local staff, including court clerk office staff, sheriff, etc. Now we all know this happened many years ago and our local legal bar, such as Scott Moffatt, the late Bill Holliday, Mike Weger and many others fought to keep the court house open.

Several mayors and police chiefs tried to do their part also and failed. Now I have spent a fair amount of time up there and see a backwards system where files churn their way to being over a year old or more before they get disposed of.

This backlog can be blamed on COVID or an overworked system, or Putin or whoever you want to blame, but it is happening. Files are being taken off the books so to speak, to try and free up some room for an overworked system, and that’s not right.

I see many a young police officer disappointed because after all their hard work, nothing happens.

Now don’t get me wrong, we have a great police service here in Weyburn, and I wish I was still a part of it. The court clerks come from Estevan, and do a great job, but are overworked and under-appreciated.

The Crown lawyers, both provincial and federal, are overworked, and come from Regina. They never really get to stay here very long, so there is a continuity problem. The defence lawyers do what they can to help speed things, and Sask Legal Aid is swamped beyond belief.

Did you know Weyburn used to have a local Legal Aid office and that was closed too?

Bottom line: those in the provincial government need to wake up and look at the real picture. No more studies, no more meetings, it’s time to make a decision!

Since I left my court work in November of 2021, more court dates have been added, but it’s not enough.

Time to open up that beautiful building, have some local staff. We old-timers even remember having a local judge, but I doubt that will happen. So let’s thank the judges and lawyers, police and court staff, for doing their best, but let’s put the provincial government’s feet to the fire – enough is enough!