SOURCE: TASER International

TASER International

June 01, 2011 07:30 ET

U.S. Department of Justice Releases Two Reports on TASER Technology

Finding: "All Evidence Suggests That the Use of CEDs Carries With It a Risk as Low as or Lower Than Most Alternatives"

SCOTTSDALE, AZ--(Marketwire - Jun 1, 2011) - TASER International, Inc. (NASDAQ: TASR), a global provider of safety technologies that prevent conflict, protect life, and resolve disputes, today advises that the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) -- the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released two key new reports from multi-year studies of Electronic Control Devices (ECDs) also known as Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs), "Police Use of Force, Tasers and Other Less-Lethal Weapons," and "Study of Deaths Following Electro Muscular Disruption."

According to the NIJ, these findings from two new research studies will help law enforcement make decisions about using ECDs. In one study, researchers surveyed agencies across the country about a range of use of force issues. They found that these devices can reduce injuries. The other study was conducted by a panel of medical experts who examined why individuals died after exposure to an ECD during encounters with law enforcement. It found that that ECDs do not pose a significant risk for induced cardiac dysrhythmia in humans when deployed reasonably and that these devices are as safe, or safer, than other means of subdual.

Select findings from the "Study of Deaths Following Electro Muscular Disruption" include the following:

  • "The literature suggests a substantial safety margin with respect to the use of CEDs when they are used according to manufacturer's instructions."

  • "CED use is associated with a significantly lower risk of injury than physical force, so it should be considered as an alternative in situations that would otherwise result in the application of physical force."

  • "There is currently no medical evidence that CEDs pose a significant risk for induced cardiac dysrhythmia in humans when deployed reasonably."

  • "Additionally, current research does not support a substantially increased risk of cardiac arrhythmia in field situations, even if the CED darts strike the front of the chest."

  • "The panel does recognize that CED use involving the area of the chest in front of the heart area is not totally risk-free; current research does not support a substantially increased risk of cardiac dysrhythmia in field situations from anterior chest CED dart penetrations."

  • "All evidence suggests that the use of CEDs carries with it a risk as low as or lower than most alternatives."

The following are summaries of the "In Police Use of Force, Tasers and Other Less-Lethal Weapons:"

  • Researchers analyzed 25,000 use of force incidents from 12 large local law enforcement agencies. The study found that when officers used force of any kind, injury rates to citizens ranged from 17 to 64 percent, while officer injury rates ranged from 10 to 20 percent. The use of physical force (hands, feet, fists) by officers increased the odds of injury to officers and suspects alike. However, the use of pepper spray and CEDs decreased the likelihood of suspect injury by 65 and 70 percent respectively.

  • Researchers further analyzed the experiences of several specific law enforcement agencies to learn how introducing CEDs affected injury rates, reviewing use of force information from police departments in Austin, Texas and Orlando, Florida. This approach tracked injuries before and after CED introduction and included more than 10,000 use of force incidents from the two agencies. A large drop in injury rates for suspects and officers alike occurred in both cities following CED introduction.

  • The researchers noted that good policies and training would require that officers evaluate the age, size, sex, apparent physical capabilities and health concerns of a suspect before using a CED. In addition, policies and training should prohibit CED use in the presence of flammable liquids or in circumstances where falling would pose unreasonable risks to the suspect such as in elevated areas or adjacent to traffic. Policies and training should also address the use of CEDs on suspects who are handcuffed or otherwise restrained, and should either prohibit their use outright or limit them to clearly defined, aggravated circumstances.

"The findings from these two multi-year NIJ studies contribute greatly to the significant body of independent research and analysis concerning the safety of TASER® electronic control devices," commented Steve Tuttle, Vice President of Communications for TASER International. "We applaud the extensive work conducted by the independent panellists, authors and the Department of Justice."

DOJ Report Links:

Police Use of Force, Tasers and Other Less-Lethal Weapons at: http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/232215.pdf

Study of Deaths Following Electro Muscular Disruption at: http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/233432.pdf

About TASER International, Inc.

TASER International, Inc., (NASDAQ: TASR) is a global provider of safety technologies that prevent conflict and protect life. More than 16,200 public safety agencies in 107 countries rely on TASER® electronic control devices (ECDs) and AXON on-officer camera systems to help protect and serve. TASER innovations benefit individuals and families too; providing personal protection and accountability while maintaining regard for life. Since 1994, more than 236,000 individuals have relied on TASER technology as a means for effective personal safety. Learn more about TASER International and its solutions at www.TASER.com, www.Evidence.com and www.Protector.com or by calling (800) 978-2737. Be a part of the TASER community by joining us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Note to Investors

To review the TASER International Safe Harbor Statement, please visit our Investor Relations Safe Harbor Statement at http://investor.taser.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=129937&p=irol-safeharbor.
For investor relations information please contact Katie Pyra by phone at 480-515-6330 or via email at IR@TASER.com, or Dan Behrendt, Chief Financial Officer of TASER International, Inc., 480-905-2002.

Contact Information

  • CONTACT:
    Steve Tuttle
    Vice President of Communications
    TASER International, Inc.
    (480) 444-4000