Since 1987, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has been investigating the use of nonlethal police weaponry.
Most police departments sport arsenals of nonlethal weaponry, the most popular piece being the Taser; electric stun guns; and Counter Assault, a spray gun that dispenses capsaicin. NIJ is seeking a weapon to render violent resisters totally unconscious. One possibility is the use of anfentinil, an analog of the potent fentanyl group of surgical analgesics. In addition to developing appropriate dosages and delivery systems, researchers must deal with issues of potential overdose, police misuse, and appeal to criminals. NIJ is also exploring devices developed by the U.S. Department of Defense, including superbright lights and eye-safe lasers, entanglement devices, and immobilizing foams.
Date Published: January 1, 1992