TORONTO - A stun gun for every beat cop?
“The minister is expanding the authority on use of Tasers,” said an insider Monday of Tuesday’s planned announcement from Ontario Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur.
“Currently only supervisors an tactical team members can carry them. She’ll likely announce that all constables will be able to carry them once trained.”
Could such a decision save lives?
Or create a whole new host of issues?
The debate will continue because this is a controversial.
Either way it will be too late to try for Sammy Yatim. For Reyal Jardine-Douglas, Michael Eligon, Sylvia Klibingaitis and a lot of other emotionally-unstable people shot and killed by police, too.
You can’t go back.
But an announcement planned for Tuesday on “use-of-force options” could lay the foundation for every police being trained and equipped with the weapons.
There is no perfect solution but OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis said it is the right call.
“This is a very positive move by the minister, which I fully endorse,” he said. “The OPP polices a land mass of 1 million square kilometers, through 165 separate detachments. In the past, there have been situations where a (stun gun) was not available and officers have had no option but to employ deadly force. In many other instances, our officers have successfully deployed a (stun gun), causing the suspect mere seconds of discomfort. If a (stun gun) had not been available, the officers would have been justified in using their firearms to prevent a threat to life.”
But there will and should be discussion on this since there have been problematic incidences involving the weapons.