Three people have died while in the custody of Prince Albert, Sask., police since October 2021.
As investigations continue into those deaths, the Prince Albert board of police commissioners says it “fully supports an independent review of policy and standards related to the care and oversight of people in police custody.”
In a statement sent out this week, the board said it is planning to participate in discussions with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) and the Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) in the coming days to address concerns and questions regarding oversight and the board’s role.
This comes after the FSIN and PAGC requested the Saskatchewan Police Commission to step in and evaluate the situation.
“The board fully supports a review by the Saskatchewan Police Commission into the care and standards of those in police custody,” read the statement provided by the board.
An internal review of policies and procedures within the police service has also been completed, according to the board. It included the process of cell checks and the safety of detainees in custody, policy and oversight of each investigation and recommendations that have been implemented by the police service following coroner inquests from previous reviews.
The board added that Prince Albert Police Chief Jonathan Bergen has also committed to an immediate policy compliance audit around detention checks and monitoring, care of custody and staff roles and responsibility.
“The health and safety of individuals in the custody of the Prince Albert Police Service is a priority for the board and the board remains committed to full transparency and accountability to the community.”