The Taser is once again part of the Nelson Police Department officer's belt.

Nelson Police Department re-introduces Tasers

Nelson Police Department re-certified its officers to use Tasers earlier this month

Nelson Police Department re-certified its officers to use Tasers earlier this month allowing them to carry the weapon for the first time in years.

The local department voluntarily took the Tasers off the street in 2007 as they awaited the results of a public inquiry prompted by the Tasering death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver airport in October, 2007.

In summer 2009, the Braidwood Inquiry came out with recommendations for the safe use of Tasers, including new training standards and that weapons only be used when other de-escalation techniques have failed and a person is threatening or has caused harm on another person or themselves. The province mandated all municipal police departments follow the recommendations.

Nelson Police Department Chief Wayne Holland said a specialized use-of-force team was brought in from Delta to train the local officers on when it’s appropriate to use their Taser.

“If they’ve tried to resolve the issue other ways — they’ve tried to talk and reason with the person — and there’s a threat of harm, then the Taser is a way for the officer to control the person and constrain them in handcuffs,” Holland explained.

Often an officer only needs to threaten to use the Taser, and not actually deploy it, to get a person to comply to their demands.

As was the case pre-2007, an incident report must be filed every time an officer takes the Taser out of its holster. The reports are reviewed by the Police Oversight Office.

Holland noted the oversight office has never once questioned a Nelson officer’s use of a Taser. Still, he welcomes the new guidelines to ensure they’re being used safely.

“We strive throughout our careers in law enforcement to never have to use lethal force,” he said.  “The Taser is a less-than-lethal force and it’s one of many tools in the tool belt to help our officers do their job or protecting the public.”


Just Posted

‘Surrounding a community with a fire break won’t help’

RDCK offers fire danger assessments to homeowners

Caribou panel hears from critical public

About 250 people turned out Wednesday evening to give feedback on the provincial government’s caribou recovery plans.

Mungall to host CleanBC open house in Nelson

Michelle Mungall is hosting an open house on CleanBC at L.V. Rogers on Tuesday from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

LETTER: Garbage truck was in the shop

From Chris Gainham of the City of Nelson

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Most Read