N.B. to have Taser policy by the end of January: minister
The New Brunswick government will have a new Taser stun gunpolicy in place by the end of January, says the public safety minister.
John Foran said on Thursday he is waiting to review two federal reports before he makes a decision on the province's policy.
An eyewitness video of RCMP officers shocking Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski, who subsequently died, at the Vancouver airport in October has sparked international debate about the use of the weapon.
In November, Howard Hyde, 45, died in a Dartmouth, N.S., jail 30 hours after being jolted by a Taser.
Foran, however, said the recent deaths did not prompt the provincial review.
"We were doing this on an ongoing basis," Foran said. "It's not because of any incidents that happened, although there were incidents."
The new policy will apply to Saint John, Fredericton, Rothesay and Edmundston municipal police forces that use the devices.
It will not apply to RCMP officers in the province.
A generic policy will provide guidelines, said Barry MacKnight, president of the New Brunswick Association of Chiefs of Police, but each department should be able to adapt it for their own use.
Taser-use policies are quite consistent across the province, MacKnight said.
The draft policy will be discussed with the chiefs of police in mid-January, Foran said,and the policy should be in place by the end of the month.
With files from the Canadian Press