Inquest jury shares recommendations

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Prince Albert Police Service

Found unresponsive in his Prince Albert Police Service cell on July 19, Morris Henry Ermine, 77, died two days later as a result of acute pneumonia.

 

A six-person jury came to this conclusion at the close of a weeklong inquest at the Prince Albert Court of Queen’s Bench, which capped off with a report on Friday.

Ermine was pronounced dead at 7:02 p.m. on July 21 at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, the report reads.

Within the jury’s findings are six key recommendations for city police and the health region.

Although Sgt. Brandon Mudry notes that the recommendations are worth consideration, those who responded to Ermine’s medical distress would have had the required First Aid, CPR and AED training.

The jury’s first (and reiterated as the second) recommendation is that guards be trained in basic First Aid, CPR and AED.

However, guards are never in direct contact with prisoners, viewing them through the cell door and over video camera surveillance, Mudry explained.

Although he can’t say whether guards are trained in First Aid, CPR or AED, Mudry notes that it is not a requirement in the department’s current policies.

As per policy, the on-duty sergeant is the one to come into direct contact with prisoners whenever a medical event takes place.  

“The police officers are required to be trained in First Aid, CPR and AED,” Mudry said.

“That’s one of the basic requirements, but the guards and matrons should not have direct contact with the prisoners -- that’s solely the police’s job.”

The police officers are required to be trained in First Aid, CPR and AED ... That’s one of the basic requirements, but the guards and matrons should not have direct contact with the prisoners -- that’s solely the police’s job. Brandon Mudry

The police station has three automated defibrillators on-site, including one in the cell area, one in dispatch and one in the criminal investigation building.

The jury’s fifth recommendation also involves the Prince Albert Police Service, requesting that communication devices be upgraded and cameras be on 24/7, recording audio as well as video.

Recommendations three and four involve policies at the Brief and Social Detox Centre, located near the Victoria Hospital -- the go-to for intoxicated individuals who are picked up by police.

However, “When they’re deemed not fit for there, they unfortunately have to come to cells,” Mudry explained.

The jury recommends that staff at the detox centre should put into writing when they refuse or decline a client, and to supply police with a copy.

They also recommend that the Brief and Social Detox Centre “expand their capacity, equipment and qualified staff.”

The fourth recommendation notes that value of Community Mobilization Prince Albert, suggesting that the organization received “continued financial resources” in their goal of improving health and welfare of prisoners.

Recommendation No. 6 recommends that the Prince Albert Health Region “secure a cardiologist and ability to do angiograms within Prince Albert.” 

Organizations: Prince Albert, Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, Social Detox Centre Victoria Hospital

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