Ontario Police Chiefs: More Tasers for Officers.
In what seems to be a turnabout in recent events involving Taser Deaths in Canada. Ontario Police Chiefs are requesting more Taser for it's frontline Officers, as only Supervisors are allowed to carry Tasers may wonder if recent events will taxpayers foot the bill.
Taser still being a less lethal alternative than guns.
url="http://www.ottawasun.com/News/National/2007/10/16/4579434-sun.html"]Ontario police chiefs are pressuring the new Liberal government to give forces the option to arm frontline officers with Tasers as controversy once again surfaces over the stun guns.
A weekend incident in Ottawa illustrates why the recommendation might be worth considering.
On Sunday night, Ottawa police used a Taser to subdue a sword-wielding man suspected in a domestic-related incident.
Because it would have taken time for the tactical team to respond, Ottawa police called the local RCMP to bring a Taser to the River Rd. corn field where the standoff was happening.
The partner assault squad charged Andre Locas, 44, with 24 offences, including assault, uttering threats and weapons-related offences. He will appear in court today.
In Ontario, only police supervisors and tactical officers are allowed to carry the devices.
The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police says the time has come to consider giving Tasers to frontline cops.
Chief Ian Davidson, first vice-president of the police chiefs association, said there might have been initial resistance to full rollouts of the electro-shock weapon because there wasn't enough "real data" on its effectiveness.
"The Taser is very effective and we think safe and we think, under the circumstances, it's a very humane way to treat people who are that aggressive," Davidson said yesterday.
Ontario permitted tactical teams to use stun guns in 2002.
Safety concerns over the weapons routinely arise. The most recent came this weekend when RCMP at a Vancouver airport weekend used a Taser to subdue an out-of-control man, who died minutes later. The cause of death has not yet been determined.
Officers on Ottawa Police Service's tactical unit are the only ones on the force who currently carry the weapons.
City cops were some of the first in Ontario to try out the stun guns during a pilot project in 2000.
Ottawa police continue to plan for a rollout of Tasers to supervisors.
Sgt. Jamie Jordan, who works in the Ottawa police professional development centre at Algonquin College, said it "could be a very good thing" for frontline cops to have access to stun guns.
But for the most part, the tactical unit's response to requests for a Taser at calls "has been terrific," Jordan noted.
"It has worked out," he said.
Police brass might encounter challenges convincing taxpayers to foot the bill for more Tasers.
For example, the X26 produced by Taser International cost Davidson's Sudbury police force about $1,400 each.
The model shoots out two small probes that deliver 50,000 volts of electricity to the target. [/q]