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Friday, February 29, 2008

Freeze urged on cop stun guns

February 29, 2008
By SARAH GREEN, Toronto Star

Michael Walker wants to zap police Tasers. The Toronto councillor wants to see a moratorium on the purchase of additional Tasers until there's more evidence about the safety of the hand-held stun guns. "I find it troubling," said Walker, who will ask his fellow councillors Monday to support his motion. "We've managed to carry out effective policing for a century and a half without Tasers. I think we can continue to do that."

Police Chief Bill Blair wants to outfit all 2,600 frontline officers with Tasers at the cost of about $8 million. The force has 432 Tasers for frontline supervisors. In a report, Blair said Tasers have the potential to reduce injuries among officers and prevent standoffs from escalating. In the first six months of 2007, Toronto Police used Tasers 215 times, including 73 incidents when the stun gun was just used as a show of force, the report said.

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