July 15, 2002
OTTAWA -- Ontario's police forces are getting stun guns, the province's public-safety minister announced Monday. Bob Runciman said tests of the Taser guns over the last year by officers in Ottawa and Toronto have demonstrated the weapon is effective.
"We took a long, hard look at the Taser before deciding to allow all police services to use it," Runciman told a news conference at Ottawa's city police headquarters.
"Field tests conducted by the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Police Service and the Toronto Police Service showed the Taser is highly effective in both urban and rural communities."
Runciman said the stun guns are not intended to replace other weapons.
"They are not a panacea. They do not provide a solution for every difficult situation officers may face," he said.
"But they are an important tool and our government is committed to providing police services with the best tools to do their jobs."
Taser is an acronym for Thomas A. Swift Electrical Rifle, according to the company that manufactures the guns.
Once fired, they use a pulsating, 50,000-volt electrical current that's delivered through two probes. The current overpowers the body's normal electrical signals in the nervous system.
Despite the high voltage, they don't cause permanent damage, say police.
"They work at such low amperage, they do not affect the beating of the heart," said Metro Toronto Police Sgt. Don Cole.
The guns were also tested in Victoria and have already been approved for use across British Columbia.
The Mounties use them, too, as well as police forces in several American states.
A version of the gun was also made available to pilots in the cockpits of United Airlines flights following the events of Sept. 11.
For now, their use in Ontario will be limited to emergency tactical units. But that could be expanded, possibly to include them as part of the arsenal carried in regular police cruisers.
"That would be a broader decision," said Runciman. "We'd want to have consultation on that if we wanted to broaden it, to say for example, in all of the police patrol cars across the province.
"There's training issues involved. There's a whole range of issues that would have to be addressed."
Police services will have to apply for funding to purchase the guns through the proceeds of crime fund or other avenues, said Runciman.
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Monday, July 15, 2002
July 15, 2002
July 15, 2002
Ontario's police forces will be allowed to use stun guns. The province's Public Safety Minister Bob Runciman says tests of the Taser guns by officers in Ottawa and Toronto show the weapons are effective. The guns use an electrical current delivered through two probes to overpower the body's electrical signals in the nervous system.
Police say they don't cause permanent damage.
In Ontario, only emergency tactical units will be using them. The guns were also tested in Victoria and have already been approved for use across British Columbia. The RCMP use them, too, as well as police forces in several American states.