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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Taser training evolves with research: officer

December 1, 2009
The Canadian Press/CBC

A Halifax police officer in charge of training says the force changes its policies on the use of Tasers as new information becomes available.

Sgt. Dean Stienburg said the force is constantly adapting its practices with the weapons as scientific research dictates. He was testifying Tuesday at an inquiry into the case of Howard Hyde, a paranoid schizophrenic who died 30 hours after being shocked with a police Taser in 2007.

Stienburg said the force now trains officers to recognize subtle clues that may indicate someone is having a mental health crisis.

When they do, he said they should immediately involve Emergency Health Services to help prevent the person in crisis from hurting themselves or others.

The inquiry is looking at how police officers and others in the justice system treated Hyde, who was off his medications and had been acting erratically leading up to his death.


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