SASKATOON – It will take months to get the toxicology results back, but they should shed some light on what exactly happened to Michael Ryan inside a Saskatoon police detention cell. Last week, Ryan was taken into custody arrested after police received reports of a man running in and out of traffic on 22nd Street West.
He was arrested on outstanding warrants and appeared to be intoxicated.
Three hours later Ryan, 38, was found unresponsive in his cell and declared deceased in hospital.
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Now, Saskatoon police Chief Clive Weighill is renewing his calls for both the federal and provincial governments to increase the scope of mental health and addictions care in Saskatchewan.
“If you’ve got people falling off a cliff, why don’t you build fence so people don’t fall off rather than picking up people at the bottom when they fall off,” said Weighill.
“We need better mental health, we need better psychiatry help, we need better psychologists help, we need better clinic help, we better addiction help here in the city.”
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In 2014 and 2015, there were no deaths in Saskatoon police detention cells.
In 2011 EMT services were also introduced on the unit during the evenings.
According to Weighill, safeguards in place on the unit exceed almost every service in the country, but the unit is only meant to hold people for criminal activity, not those with mental health and addictions issue who may have ingested something lethal before being taken into custody.
Meaghan Craig contributed to this story