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Monday, June 01, 2009

RCMP halts use of older model Tasers after B.C. decision

Be sure to read the comments that follow the report, from my fellow Canadians. Here are just a few prime examples:

"Lets see
1.) 101 units had output below the manufacturer's specification (more safe)
2). The new model is smaller and produces less output while achieving the same operational result (more safe)
3.) An old M26 equals a new X26
4.) Lets buy some new X-26's.
5.) I get it now"

"If the old model was defective, what makes them trust the newer ones? Have they tested the newer model tazers before handing them out to cops on the street? Will taxpayers get a refund for the older models? Or is Canada a cash cow for Tazer International? Will the poor Polish immigrant be refunded his life? I say we take ALL electrocution guns off OUR streets yesterday!"

"Hold up just a minute....am I reading this right? The tasers are being pulled because they are delivering a shock that is TOO LOW?!? Email your local MP to get rid of this dammed device!"

"Think people. If they don't meet the manufacturers' specs, then who the hell made them? If they weren't up to snuff then they should have been recalled."

"so when is the lawsuit comin' against Taser for false advertising or a product recall by them or other legal remedies! probably just drop it as maybe some payoffs might get uncovered!"

"Not good enough. Take them all away, permanently before more people are killed. How many people have to die before tasers are considered a safety hazard?"

June 1, 2009
CBC News

The RCMP is pulling all older model M-26 Tasers from service nationwide after the B.C. government announced Monday such weapons don't meet the manufacturer's specifications.

B.C. Solicitor General Rich Coleman ordered the province's RCMP service to pull all 578 of its older-model M-26 Tasers from service after testing showed the same models used by municipal police forces, sheriffs and corrections officers didn't meet the manufacturer's specifications 80 per cent of the time.

The province's decision prompted the Mounties to issue a statement from Ottawa saying the force is removing all its M-26 stun guns from active service "until each unit can be tested."

"The RCMP will continue testing the M-26 [conducted energy weapons] in its inventory across the country. Only those confirmed to be functioning appropriately will be returned to service," the statement said.

The RCMP is updating its Taser inventory, replacing older M-26 units with the more reliable X-26 model, the statement said. The new model is smaller and produces less output while achieving the same operational result, it added.

102 older model M-26 Tasers failed test

MPB Technologies Electronic Centre, an independent laboratory in Ontario, conducted the testing last month for the B.C. government. It examined 128 older-model M-26 Tasers used by the B.C. municipal police, sheriffs and corrections officers. Of those, 102 failed the test.

Test results of the 128 stun guns revealed:

102 did not meet the manufacturer's specifications.
101 units had output below the manufacturer's specifications.
one unit failed due to a combination of factors.
Coleman said none of the M-26 models can be put back in service until they've been repaired and retested.

Last December, the B.C. government requested municipal chiefs of police to pull from service, for testing, all Tasers that were acquired before Jan. 1, 2006.

The first round of testing on X-26 models was completed and made public in April. Ten per cent of the 82 stun guns tested failed to meet the manufacturer's specifications.

Testing on 280 X-26 models purchased after 2006 by provincial agencies was also underway.

The police use of Tasers has become more controversial since Robert Dziekanski died in October 2007 at the Vancouver airport, shortly after being shocked up to five times by the Mounties.

His death prompted a provincially mandated inquiry, which is being overseen by retired B.C. Court of Appeal justice Thomas Braidwood.

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