B.C. police recall Tasers over voltage fears

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - B.C. police forces will pull the plug on Tasers acquired before 2006 over concerns they generate shocks higher than what the manufacturer specifies, and Mounties are recalling some of their arsenal as well.

Solicitor General John van Dongen said that municipal chiefs of police unanimously agreed to remove the shock weapons from service after testing showed the voltage sometimes exceeded the weapon specs.

The announcement came the day after the RCMP quietly announced a national testing program for 24 Taser Model X-26 units acquired before 2006.

"Effective today they have agreed to pull all Tasers purchased prior to January 1, 2006, out of service and have them tested to ensure that they're properly calibrated to ensure that they're meeting manufacturer's specifications," van Dongen told reporters in B.C.

The testing program also covers Tasers used by B.C. Corrections, the provincial sheriff's service and transit police.

The ministry said in a news release the testing program was undertaken "in the interest of public and officer safety following concerns raised by recent independent testing of the devices."

The decision follows independent testing by the CBC that found three of 41 working X-26 units generated electrical current that exceeded the manufacturer's specifications for voltage.

Van Dongen said his ministry will also work with the police to establish provincial standards and protocols for regular testing and calibration of the conducted-energy weapons.


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