Police Chiefs Urge Careful Approach When Using Stun Guns, IACP Offers Guidelines For Safe Deployment

Alexandria, VA - The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) today released a report titled Electro-Muscular Disruption Technology: A Nine Step Strategy For Effective Deployment, which urges law enforcement agencies to use caution when using electro-muscular disruption technology (EMDT) or stun guns. The goal of this report is to assist law enforcement agencies in safely deploying stun guns as a less-lethal force option for their officers.

"We know stun guns provide law enforcement officers with an effective, less-lethal option but we are also aware that concerns have been raised over how and when they have been used," said Joseph Estey, Chief of the Hartford, VT Police Department and President of IACP. "Our guidelines offer police agencies a framework for developing safe and sensible deployment and management plans for stun guns. With these guidelines, we hope to balance the risks associated with stun guns with their benefits."

The report offers suggestions on developing policies and procedures associated with stun gun use, such as:

    - Establishment of medical protocol options following an incident with a stun gun
    - Development of comprehensive training programs for officers equipped with stun guns
    - Implementation of departmental reporting systems to track EMDT-related incidents.
The report is an initial analysis of stun guns, focusing not on the technology but rather on the management of that technology. It is intended to help law enforcement leadership develop policies, procedures and training that are relevant to the needs of the communities they serve. Given the growing use of stun guns by the law enforcement community, the IACP felt it was critical to place some useful preliminary technology management information in the hands of federal, state, local and tribal police agencies.

This report was developed, in conjunction with the Montgomery County, MD police department, as part of IACP''s ongoing collaboration with the National Institute of Justice on a ''Cutting Edge of Technology'' project. This program focuses on emerging law enforcement technology issues and provides information to answer urgent questions for police agencies. The EMDT report concludes with a call for possible follow-up research on stun guns, including a long-term impact evaluation of stun guns and a study of in-custody deaths associated with them.

To read Electro-Muscular Disruption Technology: A Nine Step Strategy For Effective Deployment, please visit: www.iacp.org/research/rcdcuttingedgetech.htm

Founded in 1893, the International Association of Chiefs of Police is the world''s oldest and largest association of law enforcement executives with more than 19,000 members in nearly 100 countries.

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