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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Very, Very Prescriptive" vs "Needs to be Clarified"?

Rick Bartolucci, Ontario's Minister of Community Safety, quoted in the Globe and Mail on March 30, 2010 - Ontario to tighten taser rules for police: "We're enhancing Ontario's position with regards to its measured approach by introducing a very, very significant guideline (that's) very very prescriptive," Minister of Community Safety Rick Bartolucci said Tuesday. "There was a lack of consistency with regards to guidelines and training standards, so those are the two recommendations that we zeroed in on to make changes as quickly as possible."

Wayne Frechette, Barrie, Ontario Police Chief, quoted in today's Barrie Examiner - Taser Rules Need to be Clarified: "They sometimes ask us to make diagnoses that take doctors four visits over three weeks to do, that we are expected to do in two seconds ... It's got to be something where death or serious bodily harm may be imminent" ... (adding he suspects there will be clearer information when the directive is sent out to various police departments) ... "A schizophrenic running around with a weapon in hand is no less dangerous than an ordinary person running around with a weapon in hand ... Who are we to diagnose who has what? We're there because of the guy's behaviour. The underlying cause of that behaviour is really beyond our field. It makes little difference to us in the moment. I'm still between a rock and a hard place here, because if your behaviour is such that we are considering using a Taser, it's got to be pretty violent ... The fact that you have a bad ticker, that may factor into your ultimate demise if you do get Tasered, but we're in no position to make those diagnoses."

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