RCMP Conducted Energy Weapon (Taser) use down 30 percent in 2008; use as a deterrent increases



    OTTAWA, April 6 /CNW Telbec/ - The Commission for Public Complaints
against the RCMP (CPC) has issued its full report on 2008 Conducted Energy
Weapon (Taser) use by the RCMP. As noted in last week's key highlights CPC
news release, RCMP CEW use declined 30 percent in 2008, compared to 2007.
Overall, 2008 statistics indicate that RCMP members are showing greater
restraint in the use of the weapon.
    Of note, in 51 percent of reported incidents, the CEW was deployed (i.e.
fired) - a dramatic decrease from the year prior (72 percent). "This change
seems to reflect a greater use of the weapon as a deterrent, which is
encouraging," said Paul E. Kennedy, Chair of CPC. "It may also reflect a
greater recognition by suspects of the CEW and the effects a Conducted Energy
Weapon can have."
    Today's report is the third report issued by CPC which addresses
force-wide RCMP CEW use. The Minister of Public Safety tasked CPC in November
2007 to obtain a thorough understanding of how the RCMP was using the
Conducted Energy Weapons. All RCMP policies, protocols, training and Taser
reporting forms from 2001 through to 2008 have been reviewed and assessed. The
Interim and Final reports, issued in December 2007 and June 2008 respectfully,
contained 22 recommendations which reflected CPC concerns. In general, the
primary concerns fell into two main areas:

    
    - The need for the RCMP to coordinate and strengthen its efforts related
      to data collection and analysis of CEW use;
    - The need for the RCMP to clarify to its members and to the public when
      it is permissible to deploy the weapon.
    

    The CPC notes that there has been commendable progress by the RCMP on the
CPC's 22 recommendations. However, more needs to be done in order to alleviate
many of the concerns repeatedly expressed by the CPC. To that end, the CPC is
currently working with the RCMP with respect to issues of member training,
scenario development, reporting mechanisms and policy development.
    Of note, the RCMP recently released an updated Conducted Energy Weapon
use policy to its members. While this is a positive step, the CPC will closely
follow the policy application and training plans associated with the new
policy.

    The full report on 2008 Conducted Energy Weapon (Taser) use by the RCMP
can be found on the CPC website at http://www.cpc-cpp.gc.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Nelson Kalil Manager, Communications, (613)
952-2452, nelson.kalil@cpc-cpp.gc.ca

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