Some Good News About Police Taser Use

The good news about Tasers is that, with proper training, they can be used more responsibly by police.

The CBC reports that:

The use of Tasers, guns and physical force by Ottawa police dropped to the lowest level in years in 2007 — the year after the service introduced a special premium for officers who regularly retake a course on the proper use of force.
The CBC story further states:
Chief Vern White credits better training for the decline in the use of force.

"I went through use of force training two weeks ago," he said, "and I have to say I was totally impressed with the use of force training itself, the instructors."

He added that the instructors encouraged officers to talk to the people they deal with before doing anything else.

Since May 2006, officers have been eligible for a special salary premium called responsibility pay if they take the use of force training force every 11 months.

Const. David Zackrias said he believes the constant retraining has contributed to the drop in the use of force.

"The officers receive better training these days," he said. "We have to requalify annually and every time … there's always new scenarios we use in our training."
The good news is that with proper, and repeated, training the police can use Tasers and other forms of force more responsibly. The bad news is that they appear to have poor memories and require regular reinforcement training to prevent them from developing bad habits and overusing force.

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