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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Norfolk County : PSB Debates Across-The-Board Tasers

March 19, 2009
CD98.9 FM - Posted by Adam Liefl

The Norfolk County Police Services Board doesn't seem to be completely sold on a Canadian Police Association position of giving every officer on-duty a taser. While the issue has become a contentious one across Canada, it's that much more heated in areas where there occurred deaths in cases involving tasers, like Norfolk. The Board discussed the report yesterday at their monthly meeting but were not all in agreement on either their power level or on just how many officers should be allowed to carry them. Chair Peter Hellyer says unanimous deployment may not be a good thing for relatively young detachments like Norfolk's. The CPA is suggesting that all officers be authorized to carry one, though Hellyer and others on the board think that they should be reserved for senior or supervisory officers. Also debated was the power level of a taser. Inspector Zvonko Horvat agrees with the the CPA stance, that a taser should be labelled an "intermediate weapon" like a baton or pepper spray. Though Hellyer says they're borderline lethal, which would put it a shade below the category of a gun. Cost would also be an issue, as each unit runs for about $1500. Hellyer says the Board will challenge the idea and bring the issue up to the senior OPP ranks and even Attorney General Chris Bentley when he makes a local stop in a couple of weeks.

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