September 7, 2009
Peter Grainger, CTV
A SMALL ELECTRONICS FIRM IN RICHMOND HAS COME UP WITH A QUICK -- EASY -- AND ECONOMICAL WAY FOR POLICE TO TEST THEIR TASERS -- SOMETHING THE B-C GOVERNMENT HAS PROMISED WOULD HAPPEN. BUT AS PETER GRAINGER REPORTS -- TESTING THE ELECTRICAL OUTPUT OF TASERS MAY NOT GO FAR ENOUGH TO INSURE THEIR SAFETY.
"We're tentatively calling it the 'Taser Test '..."
"The Taser Test ?"
IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE MUCH, BUT WHEN DATREND SYSTEMS IS FINISHED-- THIS WILL BE THE GUTS OF A DEVICE WHICH THEY SAY WILL ACCURATELY TELL IF A TASER IS DELIVERING TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH ELECTRICAL CURRENT.
"The taser would be coming in here. To these large connectors..”.
Electrical Engineer, Datrend Systems
"One of our main thrusts is to make it very simple, easy, small, so that police services themselves can do the required tests."
UP UNTIL NOW-- THERE HAS BEEN NO TESTING DEVICE IN ANY POLICE DETACHMENT IN CANADA.
Grainger: "Is this a taser wave form?"
Miller: "A simulated waveform-- yes."
WHAT LITTLE TESTING HAS BEEN DONE HAS BEEN COSTLY & TIME-CONSUMING, AS TASERS HAVE HAD TO BE SENT AWAY TO A HANDFUL OF LABS.
"They're tested by having two shots in a lab..."
TWO FORMER BC SOLICITOR GENERALS -- HAVE SAID THEY WANT TO SEE REGULAR CHECKS -- ESPECIALLY SINCE 80-PERCENT OF THE BC TASERS TESTED SO FAR HAVE FAILED.
(Rich Coleman/June 1, 2009)
"When we tested the first batch-- I didn't like the numbers -- I said pull em all..."
IN JUNE, THAT RESULTED IN ALL OLDER M-26 MODELS BEING SHELVED, COAST-TO-COAST.
(Braidwood Inquiry/July 23, 2009)
"This report makes 19 recommendations..."
THEN IN JULY, THE BRAIDWOOD INQUIRY RECOMMENDED REGULAR TESTING...
"Conducted energy weapons should be periodically tested..."
...TO ENSURE TASERS MEET THE MANUFACTURER'S SPECIFICATIONS.
President, Datrend Systems
"The specifications are essentially what the manufacturer says the device will do. Whether those specifications are physiologically correct is another question."
CORRECT? OR SAFE?
"So yes, it's within Taser International's specifications, but so what?"
BC CIVIL LIBERTIES SAYS TESTING TASERS IS A WASTE OF TIME, IF THE COMPANY SPECS HAVEN'T BEEN VERIFIED FIRST-- USING RECOGNIZED ELECTRICAL SAFETY STANDARDS-- LIKE THOSE SET BY THE C-S-A-- THE CANADIAN STANDARDS ASSOCIATION.
"This really shows how Taser International and their devices managed to skip entire approval processes, testing processes, CSA approval..."
NO ONE IN GOVERNMENT HAS CHALLENGED THE MANUFACTURER OR THE POLICE WITH THE LACK OF CSA APPROVAL-- BUT DATRENDS SYSTEMS SAYS NEXT YEAR, WHEN THEY MAKE THEIR TASER TESTER AVAILABLE TO POLICE, AT LEAST THEIR PRODUCT WILL BE CSA APPROVED.
PETER GRAINGER CTV NEWS RICHMOND
CTV NEWS INFORMED THE B-C MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL ABOUT THE TASER-TESTER THAT DAY - TREND SYSTEMS IS DEVELOPING.
IN A STATEMENT -- THE MINISTRY RESPONDED SAYING "IT IS ENCOURAGING THAT THEY ARE WORKING ON AN OPTION THAT MAY ALLOW FOR MORE EFFICIENT AND COST-EFFECTIVE LOCAL TASER TESTING. HOWEVER AT THIS POINT -- WE ARE NOT IN A POSITION TO SPECULATE ON HOW THEIR TECHNOLOGY ALIGNS WITH INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS."
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Monday, September 07, 2009
September 7, 2009