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October 21, 2009
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TASER advises cops not to aim at suspect's chest

Editor's note: Recognizing the critical importance of TASER's new advisory and accurately understanding what the below news article does and does not say, we have posted a special column that shares comments and insights from leading P1 experts about how this will affect officers. Read Experts discuss TASER's new advisory for more info.

Read the full report: Training Bulletin 15.0- Medical Research Update and Revised Warnings

Read frequently asked questions in the TASER Training Memo

Do you think this training bulletin will affect how you use your TASER? Read the article below — including reaction from less lethal expert Capt. Greg Meyer — and be sure to add your comments to the discussion.

By Robert Angelen
Arizona Republic

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The maker of TASER stun guns is advising police officers to avoid shooting suspects in the chest with the 50,000-volt weapon, saying that it could pose an extremely low risk of an "adverse cardiac event."

The advisory, issued in an Oct. 12 training bulletin, is the first time that TASER International has suggested there is any risk of a cardiac arrest related to the discharge of its stun gun.

Expert Perspective

PoliceOne Columnist Captain Greg Meyer, a TASER expert for more than 30 years, on the new training advisory:

"It is critically important for officers and agencies to examine their policies and training with respect to all use of force, inclusing TASERs. Maybe this new TASER training bulletin will be the catalyst for widespread examination. I've seen much progress around the country for agencies adjusting their use of TASERs to appropriate situations as they learn from experience. Agency leaders and trainers need to look at how they are using their various tools with a risk-management mindset, and make policy and procedure decisions with their eyes open.

I'm not aware of any reputable medical research that concludes that TASERs cause heart attacks. And there is plenty of medical research that indicates they don't. The idea of training officers to avoid the chest strikes me as a risk-management move to take away the heart-attack argument during litigation."

Read more: Experts discuss TASER's new advisory

Full story: TASER advises cops not to aim at suspect's chest

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