Electroshock Weapons (ESWs) Fail Measurement Tests

Electroshock Weapons (ESWs) Fail Measurement Tests

RCMP ordered to pull older Tasers after 80 per cent failed tests

Weapons produced too little electrical output to be of use, solicitor-general says
Neal Hall, Vancouver Sun
Published: Tuesday, June 02, 2009

B.C. Solicitor-General Rich Coleman has ordered the RCMP in B.C. to pull all 578 of its older-model M-26 Tasers from service after tests of the same model used by other forces found an 80-per-cent failure rate.
The move comes after tests ordered by the provincial government last December of the M-26 weapons used by municipal police forces, sheriffs and corrections showed they did not meet manufacturer’s specifications in 80 per cent of tests.[blockquote align=”right”]”They were not putting out enough output to bring somebody down,” he said. “We felt this could put an officer’s life at risk and the community at risk.”[/blockquote]

The tests showed the weapons were producing too little electrical output rather than too much, Coleman said in an interview Monday.

“They were not putting out enough output to bring somebody down,” he said. “We felt this could put an officer’s life at risk and the community at risk.” Only one Taser tested on the high side of electrical output, but still was within the specification range, he said. Coleman said he learned the test results last Friday and immediately notified the RCMP, which has decided to pull from use the approximately 1,600 older M-26 weapons it has across Canada. Last December, the provincial government announced all pre-2006 M-26 Tasers would be removed from municipal police officers, sheriffs and corrections personnel for testing by an Ontario independent lab, MPB Technologies, which does aeronautical, military and compliance testing.
The first phase of testing 128 M-26 Tasers showed 102 did not meet the manufacturer’s specifications, with all but one having output below specifications. One failed due to a combination of factors.
Of those that failed, 25 came from municipal police detachments, 75 from sheriffs, and two from corrections facilities.

Coleman said earlier testing of the newer X-26 weapons found a 98-per-cent success rate of meeting specifications.
If the older models can’t be fixed to be brought up to specification, new models will have to be purchased, Coleman said. “Maybe we don’t need as many,” he said.

The report on the first phase of the Braidwood Inquiry — Taser use in B.C. — will be finished by June 30.
“When that comes out, we’ll take a look at the recommendations and how we can implement them,” Coleman said.
The report on the second phase of the Braidwood inquiry, into the death of Robert Dziekanski after he was Tasered five times and restrained at Vancouver’s airport on Oct. 14, 2007, is not expected until fall.
Coleman said an X-26 Taser was used on Dziekanski and it met specifications when tested.
B.C. was the first province to approve the use of Tasers in 2000. About 25 people in Canada have died after being Tasered by police between 2001 and 2008.
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