© Nathan Liewicki
Sergeant Rick Johns points one of the tasers the Moose Jaw Police Service is expected to equip local officers with at some point in the next six months.
Moose Jaw police officers will soon be equipped with Tasers.
“Saskatoon has already deployed (Tasers) to the street and we're in the process of doing so,” said Moose Jaw Police Service (MJPS) Chief Rick Bourassa.
On Wednesday, the Saskatoon Police Service announced that on-duty officers would immediately be carrying Tasers. Bourassa confirmed to the Times-Herald on Friday that MJPS officers would also be carrying Tasers sometime in 2014.
“I want to have it done before the next six months,” said Bourassa. “In fact, I'm hoping within the next few months we will have it done.”
The Chief did, however, note that there are a few things still left to do before Tasers will be on city streets.
“There are some processes and policy pieces that we have to get in place,” said Bourassa. “Then we've got to do the training with our members … then we can deploy them on the front line where they should be.”
For the past few years, however, the MJPS has owned Tasers. According to Bourassa, they were supposed to have been deployed, but everything was put on hold for a bit of time.
But they’re still very usable.
“We've had those examined and they are still suitable, so we will use those,” Bourassa said.
In addition to the Taser itself, the holster it is placed in is also significant. They can either be placed on an officer’s belt, or on the thigh.
Bourassa told the Times-Herald there has yet to be a decision on which type of holster MJPS officers will hold their Tasers in.
“It is important because when you get into things like muscle memory and stress, you will go toward where you are trained to go,” he said. “So we have to make sure we get the holster we are going to be training everybody on, so nothing changes.”
He did, however, say the MJPS is leaning toward the belt style holster – something most police agencies are doing, including in Saskatoon.
The final decision on the holster will not be made until after the MJPS has completed their Taser testing.
But more importantly, Bourassa said Tasers will give officers another tool to use when working.
“It's going to be another option officers are going to have for carrying out their duties.”
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks