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The Forum > Article Comments > Taser! Taser! Taser! > Comments

Taser! Taser! Taser! : Comments

By Kellie Tranter, published 16/11/2012

The fact of the matter is that there hasn't been anywhere near enough independent, objective research into taser safety.

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Before introduction of each new potentially fatal gadget, such as new models of Tasers, why not require the police to obtain from the Coroner approval of the product, the SOP's for its use (Standard Operating Procedures) and the training and qualifying regime?
Posted by JohnBennetts, Friday, 16 November 2012 9:16:18 AM
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Would you rather be shot with a taser or afirearm? Easy choice isn't it. The taser fits between a batton and a firearm in Police tools.
Posted by Kenny, Friday, 16 November 2012 9:54:54 AM
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Kenny, if you are suggesting that police have only three tools at their disposal, then you are wide of the mark.

Further, if you consider (for example) only one of those tools, it will immediately become obvious that there is a wide range of options, from the current NSW Police Force's Glock to machine pistols, rifles, shotguns and full assault weaponry. Which would you prefer your own child to be shot by?

Or, just perhaps, would you prefer soft options to be used before lethal ones, and for force to be proportional to need?

Speaking of need, is lethal force only acceptable to avoid injury or death to officers or bystanders, or is this widened to include simply the desire to effect an arrest asap?
Posted by JohnBennetts, Friday, 16 November 2012 10:35:50 AM
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Well, given the alternative to a taser is a nine millimetre glock, it might be prudent to rephrase your objections.
Personally, I believe the problem might be cultural, and or the current personality types attracted to police work.
I'd prefer, if the apprenticeship period were longer, and the only weapons on issue for relatively recent recruits were just a baton, a two way and perhaps a pepper spray, a winning personality, a very good sense of humour, and a much more experienced personal mentor?
People tasered to death, seems to me, clear evidence of an automatic fear based response?
As is reaching for a sidearm, when confronted by an ancient cripple, armed only with fearsome visage and or a walking stick; or, being shot in the ass, while very rapidly abandoning lower ranks or raw recruits, with rare speed, to an armed and dangerous offender?
A longer probationary period, might sort the wheat from the chaff?
Four or five initial years, of pounding a beat on push-bikes, would likely add to the fitness regime and the quality of police persons in general.
It may well be a question of, if power corrupts, then absolute power corrupts absolutely.
And giving either a craven coward/convincing compulsive liar, or a psycho, a gun, is conferring ultimate power, but particularly, if that power is accompanied by a culture of closing ranks and or protecting problematic personalities, probably not really suited to police work and community liaison.
One catches more flies, or absolutely essential community cooperation, with a teaspoon of honey, rather than a whole barrel of vinegar, particularly one laced with steroids and or, served by a counter-productive, generic, alpha male personality?
Think, our special forces are filled to the gunwales, with preferred mild mannered Clack Kent types, not chest thumping, knuckle dragging Neanderthals! And before any protest, it was just a colourful analogy!
Even so, I think I know who I would prefer, issued with legally sanctioned lethal weapons, and their entirely independent use!
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Friday, 16 November 2012 10:44:25 AM
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Come on Kellie, come off the grass.

We hire the cops to protect us from the criminals, & the ratbags, be they permanent or temporary ratbags. Before you start suggesting the cops should do this protecting bare handed, I believe you should go walk in their shoes a while. Get out of that comfortable chair, & go confront what these cops have to, all too often

Cops, & their families have a right to expect they go home after their shift, in the same physical condition as they came to work. They are entitled to protect themselves.

We gave them tasers to minimise the requirement for them to use their fire arms. As Kenny says, what would you rather be subdued with? If you don't want to be tasered, or shot, don't cause the disturbance. If you do play up, don't expect the cop to put your safety before his/her own.

So Kellie love, take off those rose coloured glasses, & wake up to the real world. If you want respect for your writings, do try to get real.
Posted by Hasbeen, Friday, 16 November 2012 10:51:09 AM
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Very well put HASBEEN...

It's not easy performing GD work these days, from what I've seen. Since the days I first joined the job (the late sixties), much more prominence has been placed on academic accomplishment, rather than the traditional 'hard head style' of the old street copper in days of yore.

Is that a good thing, yes and no. There's a place for the tough, traditional 'street copper', similarly there's a place for the better educated police officer too. However, I'm wandering off topic.

The events described by the Coroner, appear prima facie, to be an over reaction by police thus, use of excessive force, proportional to the resistance offered by the deceased.

The accepted paradigm for the 'use of force' continuum consists of;

(a)police presence; (b)verbal direction; (c)weaponless compliance (d)use of chemical incapacitants (e) deployment of an impact weapon; (f) Use of a Taser; and finally (g) use of deadly force - firearm.

And believe me, NO copper ever wants to shoot someone - when you're right, you're wrong !

Of course that's the way it SHOULD happen in the ideal world. However, policing doesn't always happen 'ideally'. The public/media often demand police clean-up the streets. When they do, people/media will often scream 'excessive force' was used by police. If they don't, the same people/media assert the police are weak, or not doing their job ?

I realize it's a tired ol' phrase, but so true...'you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't'.

HASBEEN, you so, so right, when you say, let the critics of police walk a mile in their shoes - not just accompany the Commissioner around for a night-shift - wear the uniform, and do the bloody job.

A leading US Psychologist, ever a critic of police practices, was offered a six months attachment to a medium sized police force, which he took up...at the conclusion of his six months, he wrote a six page report - a COMPLETE 360 degree turn around. Truly Amazing !

It's easy to be a critic when you've never done the job.
Posted by o sung wu, Friday, 16 November 2012 2:28:30 PM
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