© Times-Herald photo by Nathan Liewicki
Constable Cory Kerr holds the Taser that is strapped on to his belt. The Moose Jaw Police Service began equipping its officers with the stun gun on April 18.
Weapons described as 'another tool' for officers
They pack up to 50,000 volts – enough to cause strong involuntary muscle contractions.
Now they are on our city’s streets.
On April 18, members of the Moose Jaw Police Service (MJPS) equipped its officers with Tasers for the first time.
“It’s been a few years since they were first explored,” MJPS Chief of Police Rick Bourassa told the Times-Herald Monday. “Now everything is in place and we’ve put them out operationally.”
Each MJPS officer had to undergo eight hours of training with the conducted energy weapon. The training covered the technical parts of the stun gun, as well as the procedural and policy parameters associated with them.
Bourassa said all of the officers concluded their Taser training last week. It was at that time he gave the go-ahead for the devices to become a fixture on the belts of MJPS officers.
“As far as the actual deployment of the devices, that’s actual the (local) chief’s decision,” said Rick Peach, executive director of the Saskatchewan Police Commission (SPC).
Peach added that the MJPS has developed policy that is consistent with all of the controls and constraints of the Taser that adhere to SPC policy.
And while Bourassa knows that public discussion around the implementation of the conducted energy weapons will be a hot topic, he doesn’t anticipate there being any challenges with them.
“I think it is another tool that officers have to deal with situations and – like everything else we have – it will be used appropriately,” Bourassa said.
“Officers have been carrying around weapons for years and are well-trained and well-skilled with them. We understand when they are appropriately used and we expect that to continue.”
Any and all uses of Tasers, including the unholstering of them, will be documented, reported and reviewed by the MJPS, which will in turn be forwarded on to the media with the necessary details.
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks