‘Use of force’ plan sets standards for deployment
Police officers facing actual or threatened resistance are officially authorized to use Tasers, following the release of the provincial government’s policy on the "use of force" weapon yesterday.
The 10-page policy outlines the circumstances surrounding Taser deployment, necessary training, certification and accountability for the use of the controversial police tool.
While the document does provide a guideline for officers, Andy Weiler, a spokesperson for the Solicitor General, said the province does realize split-second decisions are made in the field and believes the policy reflects that.
"You can’t set up guidelines that are absolute … because a big part of policing is discretion, and officers having to make that split-second decision about what use of force they may have to use to affect an arrest," he said.
"It’s easy to sit back, especially after the fact, and look at an incident through the 20/20 hindsight vision that we have and say, ‘They could have done this and this.’"
The policy is designed in co-operation with all of Alberta’s police forces, he said, to provide a consistent set of standards for the use of Tasers across the province.
The report comes as a result of nine months of work with various police partners around the province. After final sign-off from all police departments, the document was released to the public.