Police Services Board to consider taser rollout plan

The Ottawa Police Services Board will consider a two-year plan Monday night to increase the number of tasers carried by front line officers.

Right now there are only up to 15 tasers on the road at any given time. Police want to increase that number to between 29 and 39.

"In the first year, we would look at redistributing some of the Conducted Energy Weapons we already have based on the allowance if approved to equip first class constables," Supt. Uday Jaswal told CTV Ottawa Morning Live. "In the second year, we're looking to purchase up to 100 to equip again first class constables on the front line."

He said just because an officer has a taser doesn't mean they will resort to using it all the time.

"It can be used when the behaviour, or the officer's perception of an individual's behaviour is assaultive," said Jaswal. "It can also be used when the totality of the circumstances would suggest it could be used. An example would be a suicidal person whose causing harm to themselves, potentially threatening others. So here's an option to potentially diffuse that situation, bring it to a successful conclusion, without having to resort to another type of tool, perhaps a firearm."

On average, Ottawa Police officers use tasers 19 times a year.

All officers that use tasers learn how to use them and get de-escalation training, as well as suicide intervention training.

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