May 5, 2009
Record news services
The Guelph Police board will consider a letter this month urging it to examine its conflict-of-interest policies.
But Dave Clark, chair of the Guelph Police Services Board, says he doesn't share the concerns raised in the letter written by anti-Taser activist Patti Gillman of Belleville.
Gillman is an outspoken critic of police use of the stun guns. Her letter focuses on concerns she has about a private company started by a Guelph police officer.
She writes that Gary Mulder's Canadian Centre for the Prevention of In-Custody Deaths Inc. bears a "striking resemblance" to the Institute for the Prevention of In-Custody Deaths. The latter is a U.S. company with business links to Taser International, she says.
The police board discussed this issue last month but dropped it after Chief Rob Davis said Mulder's business presents no conflict-of-interest concerns. Mulder said his company is independent from the U.S. company and Taser and has never received funding from either.
Both companies promote their expertise in the prevention of in-custody deaths and offer training to front-line police officers and others in recognizing potentially dangerous circumstances surrounding some people in custody.
They also offer strategies to reduce the risk of deaths in such cases.
Likewise, the two companies tout the existence of a condition called excited delirium and offer training in how it should be handled.
The condition isn't listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric
Mulder's company is organizing a two-day conference on excited delirium in Niagara Falls on May 25 and 26.
Clark said he didn't seek legal counsel but a Toronto lawyer assured him Mulder wasn't in a conflict-of-interest because of his company.
"His role is a teaching role," he said. It's possible the police board will look at the policies of other police services, he said.
SEE ALSO: EDITORIAL: Anti-taser critic worthy of praise
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May 5, 2009