5 things: Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners to discuss transgender questionnaire, detention mattresses

(Saskatoon StarPhoenix, February 17, 2016)

Members of the Saskatoon Board of Police Commissioners have a full agenda ahead of them at their regular meeting on Wednesday. Among the items up for discussion:

1.       A report indicates the police board is working to adapt a survey used in Vancouver that would the allow police detention officers to ask prisoners a scripted set of questions to determine which sex a transgender person identifies with. OutSaskatoon and TransSask. Support Services are reviewing the questions to ensure they are appropriate. 

2.       The procedures used during transportation and handcuffing of prisoners as they attend court will also be discussed. The procedures have been adjusted so a maximum of two prisoners may be handcuffed together during transport. Adjustments will be made in cases of possible biohazard or contagious conditions.

3.       A review found beds in the police detention unit made of formed concrete are the “best practice” for new holding cells, since water flowing through them ensures the beds stay at 27 C. The review also found the use of foam mattresses in the detention cells has been considered, but is not recommended for several reasons, including the fact they would make cleaning more difficult and could negate the effect of the water in the current beds.

4.       The report the opportunity to have the policy and procedures reviewed twice in a three-year period provides assurance the board is “complying with legislative requirements and meeting best practices in the operation of our detention centre.”

5.       A couple living in the Stonebridge neighbourhood expressed concerns about snowmobilers near their home by Highway 11, claiming the drivers are “racing back and forth nearly every day,” causing noise that disturbs them and their three-month-old baby. In a letter to the police board, the couple said they contacted police twice, but the problem continues.

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