October 24, 2009
DOUG MILLROY, Sault Star
MY COLUMN ON POLICE use of Tasers last week drew a response from Emile Therien, past president of the Canada Safety Council. He had e-mailed it to seven others, including some federal and B. C. politicians, under the titleBanning may be the way to go . . . (this one is worth reading.)
He believes that in light of the new directive from Taser International in which it says officers should not aim the weapon at a targeted person's chest in order to avoid impact to the heart, a moratorium should be placed on its use.
"The fact that Inquiry Chief Thomas Braidwood in his report released on July 23 did not recommend that standards be developed for Tasers flies in the face of technology, purchaser confidence, common sense, police safety and public safety," Therien wrote.
"In failing to do so, the inquiry, unfortunately, squandered an outstanding opportunity to move this agenda that much more forward.
"The federal government, as recommended in a report commissioned by the RCMP Commissioner and released in September 2008, must now take the initiative and set standards for Tasers used by all police services in Canada, under its power in the Criminal Code, to regulate firearms. Standards for their efficacy and use must be developed.
"The fact, acknowledged by the manufacturer, is that one in 20 of these devices fail. This is statistically very significant when it comes to product quality and integrity. This failure rate defies all logic, is inexcusable and smacks of shoddy manufacturing and quality control.
"The manufacturer and police services should take note of the fact no other electrical product can be legally sold in Canada unless it is tested and certified by a recognized national standards organization. For the police, this is very much a workplace safety issue and concern. Until these standards are in place, police services should place a moratorium on the purchase of these electrical devices.
"Without question, establishing minimum standards would be another step in the right direction to further ensure police accountability and to allay public fears and concerns."
I believe he is dead on with his call for a moratorium. With 330 people in the U. S. and 26 in Canada dying after being jolted by stun guns in this decade, something obviously is wrong.
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Saturday, October 24, 2009
October 24, 2009