Conducted Energy Weapon

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Adopted by the RCMP in December 2001, the Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) is a less lethal intervention option that allows police to protect the public, and the subjects themselves, from harm.

CEWs can only be carried on duty by RCMP officers after they successfully complete CEW training.

Training and policy

RCMP training and policy instruct RCMP officers to take into account, whenever possible, other significant risk factors before deploying a CEW. For example, RCMP officers are trained to consider a subject's known health concerns (eg., heart conditions, pregnancy); and/or the surrounding environment (eg., falling from a significant height or into deep water, or the presence of flammable substances) when using a CEW.

RCMP members re-certify every year in order to continue carrying a CEW.

RCMP policy regarding the use of a CEW is clear. A CEW must only be used in accordance with training, the principles of the Incident Management/Intervention Model (IMIM), and when a person is causing — or may soon cause — themselves or someone else harm. When possible, RCMP officers are trained to use de-escalation and crisis intervention techniques before using a CEW, as with any intervention option.

Accountability

When using a CEW, an RCMP officers' actions must be reasonable, and the force used must be necessary in the circumstances. RCMP officers who use force must clearly report why they took the actions they did based on the situation, and when, where and how the event took place. Supervisors and managers are responsible for ensuring all SB/OR reports are filled out correctly, and all relevant RCMP CEW policies and procedures were followed.

CEW testing

The RCMP continually tests CEWs to make sure they are working properly. RCMP divisions submit at least 10 per cent of their CEW inventory for independent testing each year. If specific provincial or territorial policy requires additional testing of CEWs, RCMP divisions comply with these requirements.

Independent testing of a CEW at a designated testing facility is completed when:

  • an incident involves deaths or injury requiring medical treatment following the use of a CEW;
  • a CEW doesn't work properly;
  • a supervisor or manager determines that testing is needed to address performance concerns; or,
  • before a new CEW is put into operational service.

The RCMP continuously reviews new research into the CEW so that policies, protocols and training may be enhanced.

RCMP reports on CEW usage

From 2007 to 2010, the RCMP produced quarterly reports on CEW usage. The RCMP also produced annual reports on CEW usage in 2008 and 2009. If you would like a copy of any of these reports, please send a request to webmaster@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

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