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Website gives free up-to-the-minute reports on ECW court rulings

The new online resource is a rich source of ideas for training scenarios, roll call refreshers, and classroom discussions

There’s a new “TASER-trove” of information available to you, if you’re interested in the nature and outcome of litigation related to Electronic Control Weapons.

Americans for Effective Law Enforcement (AELE), the Illinois-based nonprofit training group that monitors civil suits and criminal cases involving law enforcement, has launched a unique database of federal and state court decisions concerning TASERs and other ECWs. And it’s free!

Just click here and you’ll find a compendium of more than 150 cases from all federal circuits — an invaluable resource for police attorneys, policy makers, use-of-force trainers, street officers, corrections personnel, supervisors, and CJ professors alike.

“The file will be updated at least monthly to stay current with the latest developments as new decisions come down,” says AELE’s executive director, Wayne Schmidt. “Litigation over the use and misuse of ECWs is the hottest topic in law enforcement today, and this site is the most thorough assembly of information on the subject available.”

Every kind of troublesome event is included. The decisions are organized according to the federal circuit in which they were issued and to the type of ECW application (dart mode, stun mode, or corrections/confinement environment).

In each instance there’s a succinct summary of the case, the names of the parties involved, the docket number and legal citation — plus a hyperlink that connects you to the full text of the decision.

Included at the site as well are links to articles, research papers, specimen policies, a terminology glossary, and a list of “weapon confusion” cases.

At the very least, the site is a quick means for you to stay up to date on case law in your jurisdiction. Beyond that, it’s a rich source of ideas for training scenarios, roll call refreshers, and classroom discussions.

“Only the Internet could make all this possible without cost and without hours upon hours spent in a dusty law library,” Schmidt says.

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