Since being Tasered five years ago during a drinking and driving arrest, a Sudbury woman says her heart starts racing every time she sees police officers.
Lisa Simon says she was zapped with the electric weapon twice after she was already handcuffed and face-down on the police cruiser.
"I didn't even know it was coming. My head was down on the trunk. I didn't even see," she told CBC Sudbury.
That’s why she is calling the province’s move to expand the use of Taser a bad plan, saying the controversial weapon is too easy to abuse and shouldn't be given to all police officers. She also rejects the idea that the Taser is a non-lethal weapon.
"No. It is a deadly tool," she said.
Ontario’s governing Liberals made the announcement Tuesday exactly one month after teenager Sammy Yatim was shot dead aboard an empty Toronto streetcar.
The existing rules that limit the use of Tasers, also known as stun guns or conductive energy weapons (CEWs), will be changed to clear the way for individual police forces to set their own guidelines about which officers can use them.
Sudbury police chief Frank Elsner applauds the move.
"As police chiefs, we've been banging that drum for a long time," he said.
All officers — not just supervisors or specialized tactical police — need an alternative to lethal weapons, Elsner said.
"Right now, the only option is a baton or their handgun," he said.
Elsner said he will encourage the Sudbury Police Services Board to invest in Tasers and appropriate training for front-line officers. He estimated that a Taser for every officer would cost the force about $500,000 plus the cost of training.