The Canadian Police Research Centre today issued a technical report entitled “Review of Conducted Energy Devices” at the Ottawa conference of the Canadian Association Chiefs of Police. While the CPRC report acknowledges that “there is [sic] no known, scientifically tested, independently verified, and globally accepted CED safety parameters”, it concludes that CEDs, or Tasers, are “safe in the vast majority of cases”.

The report downplays the 151 cases of death in North America proximal to Taser use. Ten such deaths have occurred in July of this year alone, a fact that seems to have escaped the attention of the authors.

The CPRC report states “definitive research or evidence does not exist that implicates a causal relationship between the use of CEDs and death”. That statement does not square with the opinion of Dr. Scott Denton, Medical Examiner for Cook County, Illinois, who concluded in a postmortem report dated July 29, 2005 that “the cause of death in this 54 year old White male, Ronald Hasse, is from electrocution due to Taser application”.

Police studies on Tasers must be taken with at least a grain of salt. After all, manufacturer Taser International Inc. is a “Gold Sponsor” of this year’s CACP convention, at which the report was released, and has given payments and stock options to CPRC report author Darren Laur.

The clear message emerging from this latest police report is that it really is time for truly independent and rigorous testing of these dangerous weapons.

The report can be found at

For another critique, see: Police in 5 states sue Taser in past 2 weeks