CPC Chair submits final Conducted Energy Weapon report to Public Safety Minister



    OTTAWA, June 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Paul E. Kennedy, Chair of the Commission
for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (CPC), today made public his Final
Report concerning the RCMP's use of the Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW),
commonly known as the Taser, following a request made by the Minister of
Public Safety Stockwell Day on November 20, 2007.
    The Final Report includes 12 recommendations for immediate
implementation. It follows an Interim Report that the Commission provided to
Minister Day on December 11, 2007.
    "Our recommendations are designed to hold the RCMP publicly accountable
for its use of a weapon that has caused considerable apprehension among
Canadians, and to control usage creep," said Mr. Kennedy. "The Commission is
not calling for a moratorium."
    The primary finding is that the quality of data in the RCMP national CEW
database is so poor that RCMP policy shifts following the 2001 introduction of
the weapon cannot be factually supported. Seemingly, these small policy
changes have led to major operational consequences.
    Due to the significant public policy debate occurring over CEW use by the
police in Canada, the Report is premised on the notion that CEW use must be
situated within the principle of proportionality: that the amount of force
used should bear some reasonable relationship to the threat a police officer
is facing and its impact upon public safety.

    
    Key recommendations in the Final Report include:

        - That the conducted energy weapon be classified as an "impact
          weapon" and its use be allowed only in situations where an
          individual is "combative" or posing a risk of "death or grievous
          bodily harm", including individuals appearing to be experiencing
          the condition(s) of excited delirium;
        - That the RCMP immediately instruct its members who deploy a
          conducted energy weapon on a subject to seek immediate medical
          attention for the subject in all circumstances;
        - That the RCMP immediately restrict the use of the conducted energy
          weapon to the following members: Rank of Corporal or above in
          urban(1) settings, and Constables with at least five (5) years of
          operational experience who are posted to detachments in rural(2)
          settings;
        - That the RCMP publicly release the requested Quarterly and Annual
          Reports concerning the RCMP's use of the conducted energy weapon.
    

    Mr. Kennedy's Final Report is complementary to his ongoing
Chair-Initiated Complaint into RCMP actions surrounding the in-custody death
of Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver International Airport on October 14,
2007.
    The Report's executive summary and 12 recommendations are available on
the CPC website at www.cpc-cpp.gc.ca. The full document is available upon
request via email at org@cpc-cpp.gc.ca or by contacting the Commission
representatives listed below. It will also be available in the near future on
the CPC website.

    ----------------------------------
    (1) Urban setting is defined as a population of 5000 residents or more.
    (2) Rural setting is defined as a population less than 5000 residents.




For further information:

For further information: Nelson Kalil, Manager, Communications, (613)
952-2452, nelson.kalil@cpc-cpp.gc.ca; Melanie Rushworth, Manager, Outreach 
(613) 952-3738, melanie.rushworth@cpc-cpp.gc.ca

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