The Prince Albert Grand Council say they are “disturbed” by recent in-custody deaths involving the Prince Albert Police.

Last week, two people died while considered in-custody of the Prince Albert police.

According to the police, a 29-year-old man went into medical distress while officers were investigating a disturbance at Victoria Hospital on October 3. The man was transferred to a hospital in Saskatoon but died a week later.

On October 8, a 35-year-old man was found unresponsive in a cell in the Prince Albert police detention area.  He was taken to Victoria Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

Those deaths will be under investigation by an external police agency.

PAGC Chief Brian Hardlotte is now demanding transparency and accountability in the external investigations into these deaths.

“I understand that police deal with vulnerable people who often suffer from addictions; however, if you have the power to detain people then you have the responsibility to ensure that they are safe,” said Chief Hardlotte in a media release posted to the PAGC Facebook page. “The PAPS should not be in the business of locking up individuals who have underlying medical conditions if they are not professionally equipped to do so. Anything short of having proper medical staff and equipment to make sure prisoners are safe is unacceptable.”

A coroner’s inquest into these deaths, if called, could take upwards of two years before all information is made public.

Chief Hardlotte says the PAGC plans on closely following the investigation into these deaths and will also be reviewing previous recommendations made following coroner’s inquests into other in-custody deaths.