The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 06/10/2014 6:38 PM | Comments: 0
SASKATOON - Proponents of a partnership say it is making significant progress in directing people in custody due to intoxication to the proper facilities in Saskatoon.
The Saskatoon Action Accord started in July 2011 and involves the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners, Saskatoon Tribal Council, Saskatoon Health Region, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and Saskatoon police.
Members of the accord said Tuesday that the number of people in detention due to intoxication who are being directed to police cells was reduced to 50 per cent from 80 per cent in 2013.
Tracy Muggli, director of mental health and addiction services with the health region, says the brief detox unit and The Lighthouse, an emergency shelter and supportive living facility, are still turning people away on any given night but the situation has greatly improved.
In July 2013, The Lighthouse added 20 brief detox beds, and Muggli says the plan is to increase it to 38 beds, while the brief detox unit has 12 beds.
Muggli adds permanent funding for a paramedic at police cells for 12 hours per day is also helping to improve services.
“The purpose is to ensure that people who are in the detention cells who are intoxicated are getting the care that they need and if they’re running into any medical concerns that they have a paramedic on site to be able to assess and potentially triage if necessary," Muggli said.
Police chief Clive Weighill said the service is pleased to see the big shift to the use of appropriate facilities for people who are drunk in public.
“The traditional use of police service cells was one of necessity, not one of choice," he said.
"The addition of the Lighthouse Emergency Shelter in 2013 provided the capacity we needed to better enable us to provide emergency shelter to people with dignity and access to ‘next day’ services.”
Last year, an inquest jury who examined the death of man in Saskatoon police cells recommended there be more beds at the brief detox unit.
Stanley Robillard was arrested for public intoxication after falling backwards and hitting his head outside a Saskatoon bar on July 15, 2010. The next morning, the 46-year-old heavy equipment operator from the Muskoday First Nation was found unresponsive in a police detention cell.
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Most appeals granted, benefits tribunal says
U.S. to Tighten Access to Certain Narcotic Painkillers
Talk Therapy Plus Meds May Be Best for Severe Depression
Low Birth Weights May Put Black Women at Risk for Diabetes
Failing Vision Tied to Shorter Lifespans for Seniors
Getting Healthier a Big Money-Saver for People With Diabetes
Police warn about drugs stolen from hospital
Air in U.S. Cities Getting Cleaner, EPA Says
Racial Disparities in Breast-Feeding May Start With Hospitals, Study Suggests
Two Polio Vaccines May Give Greater Protection Against Crippling Disease
Calls for probe into reports of disabled deaths
Syphilis cases continue to rise in Vancouver
Fewer U.S. Teens Using Sunscreen, Study Finds
Blacks May Face Higher Risk of Diabetes-Linked Vision Loss
Kids With Autism Have Extra Brain Connections, Study Says
New Drug May Fight Serious Respiratory Virus in Infants
New Test Helps Diagnose Type 1 Diabetes
Noodles: Friend or foe? S. Koreans defend diet
May deadline for pulp mill to fix emissions
Concussions still major issue in sports:group
Both U.S. Health-Care Workers Infected With Ebola Released From Hospital
Consumer Reports Advises Pregnant Women to Avoid Tuna
Study: Men, Lesbians More Likely to Have Orgasms
Health Highlights: Aug. 21, 2014
Health Tip: Help Keep Teen Drivers Safe
Doctor tips the scale on the side of humour
US Ebola survivor: 'I am thrilled to be alive'