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February 2009
 
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Taser rollout begins

A Taser and round.

Photo: NZ Police

The rollout of the Taser began in earnest from 1 March 2010, with operator training getting underway in each district, says Manager Operation Services, Superintendent John Rivers.

“This is the culmination of a considerable amount of work and effort to develop a training package, plan technological and logistical support and the development of a technology solution to securely store and manage the digital evidence captured from the Taser and Tasercam,” says John.

Each district will be responsible for training, allocation of the devices and announcing when the Tasers will become fully operational in the district as another tactical safety option available to staff.

 

It is anticipated that Tasers will become operational from late March onwards.


“The numbers of operational Tasers available to staff will gradually increase in coordination with the numbers of trained operators.”

There will be 3,500 frontline police trained and certified as Taser operators.

Tasers will not be routinely carried. They will, however, be readily available to all frontline response staff as an additional tactical option should the need arise.

“We wanted to ensure that our frontline response staff had access to this tactical option as this is where it will be most effective,” says John.

The total number of 681 operational Tasers will be available across every police district by August 2010 at the completion of the training and rollout programme.

“We have studied the operational use of Tasers in other international police jurisdictions to ensure we take advantage of best practice developed overseas before rolling Taser out here.

“For example, we have deliberately taken a measured approach to the introduction of Taser in order to avoid some of the issues experienced overseas.

“We piloted the weapon then developed a full training programme to ensure staff are fully prepared before becoming operational,” says John.

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