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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police moves forward with national taser-related research initiatives

November 21, 2007

FIRST READ the story of the Taser International sponsorship of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police conference in 2007.

OTTAWA, Nov. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) today announced that the Canadian Police Research Centre (CPRC) will undertake, on its behalf, a comprehensive review of, and additional research on, the use of Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs) - more commonly known as Tasers - to provide a national perspective on the safety and use of the devices.

"A large body of research already exists on Conducted Energy Devices," remarked Steven Chabot, Deputy Director General of the Sûreté du Québec and President of the CACP, "and while CEDs have a solid track record for safety, CED-related incidents that involve injury or death are an obvious concern for law enforcement personnel and the public alike. We have asked the CPRC to update its comprehensive 2005 report to reflect any new findings regarding CEDs and CED-related issues, to proceed with a study of individuals resisting arrest as recommended in that 2005 report and to look at ways of establishing a more national approach to evaluating evolving CED technology and encouraging CED information-sharing."

The latest research will include a year long study that aims to identify links between the individual and situational characteristics of people who have been subject to police restraint, different methods of restraints and the risk of death associated. This study is entitled "RESTRAINT: Risk of Death in Subjects That Resist: Assessment of Incidence and Nature of fatal outcomes." Data collection has already begun and the study will be expanded to include several cities across Canada.

CED technology is continuously evolving and the CACP's renewed focus on these technologies will enable the law enforcement community to better respond to these changes to keep abreast of the latest developments to monitor the situation and respond accordingly. There are also a number of new developments in less lethal and directed energy technologies that will soon be available to police services in Canada. In response, the CACP has asked the CPRC to act as the point of contact for the study and evaluation of these systems for law enforcement in Canada.

"Continued research and evaluation work on CED technology is a natural fit for the Canadian Police Research Centre," stated Steve Palmer, CPRC Executive Director. "We are already working with the US National Institute of Justice and the UK Home Office Scientific Development Branch to coordinate and share research to evaluate the latest generation CEDs. The CACP's support in establishing the CPRC as a Canadian centre of excellence on CED technologies bolsters our role as the single, national focal point for technology research and development efforts in support of Canada's police and public safety community."

"The CPRC is widely recognized as an organization that can provide objective information for both the public and policy makers on a number of issues," added Mr. Chabot. "The organization's continued work regarding the safety and effectiveness of CED technologies is most welcomed."

An update on the state of CED-related technology and issues is expected by the end of the first quarter in 2008. The RESTRAINT study will begin early in 2008 with a final report available in 2009 (a full year of data collection is foreseen). Additional information on the CPRC and its work involving CEDs (including the 2005 technical report on CEDs released in 2006) is available on the CPRC's Web site at www.cprc.org.

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