New Taser standards in place for B.C. police
Published Monday, January 30, 2012 3:20PM PST
The new standards for Taser use are being rolled out across the province Monday, requiring police to undergo mandatory training for the conducted-energy weapons.
The changes to B.C. policy come in response to the 2007 death of Robert Dziekanski, who was Tasered multiple times at the Vancouver International Airport. Retired judge Thomas Braidwood led an inquiry into the case and recommended the changes, which will now see police trained at a provincial standard to improve safety.
Now every B.C. police member -- including Mounties -- that carries a Taser will follow a qualification model already in place in Vancouver that includes crisis management and medical assistance training.
The Vancouver Police Department currently has 107 officers qualified to carry a Taser, and a third of those are members of the emergency response team.
But how many officers go through the program will be up to each department.
Officers will also be required to have an external defibrillator ready in case of cardiac complications.
Some of the other new policies include:
• Tasers are only to be used on violent people
• Officers must give verbal warnings before shocking anyone
• They must use, or consider using, crisis intervention first
• They must avoid chest shots
• Shocks cannot last for more than five seconds