The International Association of Chiefs of Police is recommending that law enforcement departments develop protocols for electronic stun guns and track each time the weapon is deployed, the Associated Press reports. The IACP urged police agencies to place stun guns on a use-of-force chart — helping officers to decide better which tool to grab in a given situation. Tasers, one type of stun gun used by more than 7,000 law enforcement agencies worldwide, has come under fire from human rights groups as a number of deaths have been blamed, at least partially, on the devices.
After several deaths that followed Taser shocks, some police departments have suspended their use to re-examine their handling. Many are awaiting better data on health risks. Several states are also considering purchasing and use restrictions on the weapons. The IACP report encourages agencies to appoint a “leadership team” of agency heads, trainers, attorneys, medical professionals, media, and other community liaisons to devise exact use guidelines. The report said departments need to decide whether certain groups — mentally challenged, children, elderly, pregnant women, or those with known visual impairments or compromised health — should be excluded from stun gun use. The report can be read at http://www.iacp.org/research/rcdcuttingedgetech.htm