Recorded at the 2010 NIJ Conference, an audio and accompanying transcript cover five panel presentations on study findings relevant to whether conducted energy devices (CEDs) are safe and effective.
The first speaker notes that after all the testing, CEDs still warrant classification as a "less lethal" weapon compared to firearms. Compared to results from firearms use, CEDs cause significantly fewer injuries and deaths. Given that 1.5 percent of the cases handled by police officers require the use of force, CEDs significantly reduce the number of bad outcomes for these small number of cases. The second presenter addresses multiple findings from multidisciplinary studies of cases that involved CED use. One of the findings is that currently there is no conclusive medical evidence that CEDs pose a significant risk of serious injury or death to humans who are healthy, normal, non-stressed, and non-intoxicated. Another finding is that law enforcement officers need not refrain from using CEDs when dealing with uncooperative or combative subjects being taken into custody, provided officers are trained to use a CED in accordance with accepted national guidelines and appropriate use-of-force policies. A third presenter reports on a Maryland task force's recommendations on the use of CEDs relative to training, use of force, medical care, reporting and investigation, monitoring, and data collection. The remaining two presenters discuss results from an NIJ-funded use-of-force project that examined the impact of CEDs and associated injuries to suspects and officers. There is discussion of the risk for injury of any type, either physical or psychological. Weaknesses in current research on the effects of CED use are also noted.
Date Published: June 1, 2010