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Monday, June 01, 2009

RCMP stop using nearly 600 older-model M26 Tasers

June 1, 2009
CTV.ca News

RCMP are pulling all older-model M-26 Tasers from service across the country, after independent tests in B.C. showed the devices did not meet manufacturer's specifications 80 per cent of the time.

B.C. Solicitor-General Rich Coleman ordered the Mounties to stop using the model in the province, and RCMP said Monday they would follow suit from coast to coast.

Mounties had 578 such devices in their arsenal. They said they would stop using the M-26 Tasers until each unit is tested for safety.

However, RCMP noted that the independent test showed the M-26 Tasers produced less electrical output than expected 90 per cent of the time.

Mounties still have 1,500 newer-model Tasers at their disposal.

Tasers have been under increased scrutiny ever since the October 2007 death of Robert Dziekanski in Vancouver's airport.

"It's really a remarkable turn of events, when you consider how long the Mounties have stood by the technology in the face of great criticism," CTV's Rob Brown said in Vancouver.

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