03/17/2016 23:45 EDT | Updated 03/18/2017 01:12 EDT

Board approves having paramedic on round-the-clock duty in detention cells

SASKATOON — The board of police commissioners has approved having a paramedic in the Saskatoon police department's detention unit for 24 hours a day instead of 12.

Chief Clive Weighill said the change could take effect as soon as June 1.

Weighill approached the board after a man died in a police cell last month during the 12-hour period when no paramedic was on duty.

Detention unit staff found Michael Ryan, 38, unresponsive in his cell three hours after he was arrested for running into oncoming traffic.

Relatives said Ryan struggled with substance abuse issues. The cause of his death has not yet been released.

Weighill noted inquests into deaths in police detention cells almost always end with recommendations for 24-hour paramedics.



CKOM, The Canadian Press