March 5, 2010
Nearly 700 Taser stun guns will be available to 3500 front line police throughout the country by August.
Operator training began in each police district this week and the Tasers will become available from later this month. By August 681 are expected to be available throughout the country.
The electronic stun guns will "not be carried on the hip as a matter of course, but will be readily available to frontline staff," police say.
The guns use a 50,000 volt electric current to stop people and are used in situations where previously police may have used firearms.
They were introduced in small numbers at the end of 2008 and police reported that targeted people were surrendering when the Taser was pointed at them.
The stun guns have been criticised as being able to cause physical harm and possibly death, but police say there have been no known side effects when used in New Zealand.
Police Commissioner Howard Broad says Tasers have been used in the Auckland, Waitemata, Counties Manukau and Wellington police districts for just over a year and 10 people had been tasered.
"It's pretty clear that in several instances, the person could have been shot with a firearm if Tasers hadn't been available," Broad says on the police website.
He says Tasers are drawn 132 times and 92% of incidents are successfully resolved without them being discharged.
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Friday, March 05, 2010
March 5, 2010