Cops armed with tasers

| 25/01/2013

IMG-20130125-00448 (220x300).jpg(CNS): Police officers from the Uniform Support and Operational Support units of the RCIPS, along with officers based on Cayman Brac, will begin using tasers from 7am on the morning on Monday, 28 January. The police revealed details of the use of the less-lethal weapon by specially trained officers on Friday, when an RCIPS officer was used as a guinea pig for a media demonstration (see photo below). The weapon, which has been in used in UK police forces for several years and more recently rolled out in Bermuda, delivers a 50,000 volt shock to those on the receiving end of two spiked probes fired from the weapon. Police said that, with human rights and public safety issues in mind, the stun-guns will be used in potentially violent or dangerous situations as an alternative to pepper spray or firearms.

Police say that lengthy research and consultation was undertaken into the effectiveness of these weapons before a decision to arm some officers with them. The weapon will supplement the RCIPS’ existing arsenal of equipment, such as batons, handcuffs, pepper spray and the firearms already carried by trained officers.

David Baines, the RCIPS commissioner, said that there were no immediate plans, or funding, to arm all officers with the weapon, which employs sophisticated technology to instantly restrain a violent suspect.

“The introduction of Taser provides more options for officers and ensures that they can evaluate the required response based on the circumstances they and members of the public are presented with, at each incident they attend,” Baines said. “The key phrases for us are ‘public safety’ and ‘proportionate deployment’. I’m confident that the training provided will ensure that proper appraisal takes place and the correct level of response is used. It provides an excellent alternative to batons, incapacitant sprays and guns, particularly in confined areas where there may be a risk of injuring innocent bystanders.”

While a taser instantly renders a person immobile and delivers an extremely painful instant shock, the pain is said to be gone in a matter of seconds. However, this gives a short period of incapacity, which provides the police an opportunity to defuse a dangerous situation without resorting to the dangerous use of pepper spray or, worse, a gun.

The weapon temporarily incapacitates offenders and protects officers from directly engaging with dangerous suspects at close range, reducing the opportunities for injury to members of the public or the officers. It is described as a less-lethal device that bridges the gap between the baton and a firearm.

The police have bought 36 tasers, spending some $71,000 from the $5 milllion supplementary budget allocation voted for the RCIPS by officers in 2011. These will be used by trained officers purely from the USG, which is already an armed unit, and the Operational Unit, which supports those officers, and the Serious Crimes Task Force.

Five officers have now been trained by Taser International to act as instructors for the roll out of the device. Fifty-nine police officers in the USG, OSU and the Sister Islands have been trained to use the weapon and deal with the post deployment removal of the probes where possible.

The three day training teaches officers not only how but when to resort to the new weapon, using a combination of classroom-based learning and a series of role play scenarios. Inspector Ian Brellisford, who is the RCIPS firearms expert and training officer, has led the introduction of Taser into the service and believes it will make a real difference to both the public and the police in Cayman.

“This device will provide officers with a viable proportionate response option when dealing with violent offenders. When deployed, it temporarily incapacitates the muscles of the offender, enabling officers to quickly and effectively restrain him or her before the situation escalates or the suspect injures themselves, members of the public or the officers on scene.”

In addition, the new weapon has its own in-house camera, which films the taser incident when the weapon is fired. This Taser Cam automatically starts recording video and sound every time the Taser is drawn from its holster and aimed at an offender.

“Everything the officers say and does, as well as everything the offender says and does is available for use by the investigation teams, the Legal Department and to be viewed in the courts,” Baines explained.  “It is yet another step towards modernising the RCIPS and ensuring that we not only maintain a professional approach, but also present the best transparent evidence available to take violent offenders off our streets, secure convictions and maintain the safety and security of the Cayman Islands.”

Inspector Brellisford said that because of the wide public interest in the weapon the RCIPS would be transparent about its use and where possible footage from the webcam would be released to the press. He said he was confident that, should there be any complaints against officers using the weapon, the Taser Cam would be able to justify that use.

taser.jpgUSG Officer PC Gabe Rabess, who volunteered to actually be tasered, said that the experience was extremely painful for a very, very short time. He was shot in the back in the demonstration but shortly afterwards said the pain had gone and the press saw that the officer was left with two small puncture wounds. Inspector Brellisford removed the probes and applied a couple of bandaids.

Nevertheless, there are dangers in its use and should a suspect be hit in the head, neck, face or genitalia, the suspect will be taken to hospital where medics will remove the probes.

As it is more than four years since any officer in the RCIPS was forced to fire a gun at a suspect, the police hope the use of the Taser will be equally rare but the additional technology offers officers a safe way to prevent violent suspects from hurting themselves, other people or the police without having to resort to the use of lethal firearms.

Category: Crime

Comments (58)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Forgive my pessimism, but this pre-supposes that the on-duty RCIPS officer will actually be present on the scene of a crime in progress, correctly identify the threat, have his/her toy at hand, be in effective range, and have the upper hand to deploy the wires before the target moves or leaves.  Even if all these heroic events unfold perfectly, they'll then be obliged to call an ambulance and take these unlikely victims to the hospital for routine health inspection, and we've all read about their skill in locking-down the hospital.  This smacks of professional vanity, like the million-dollar marine hardware warehoused in dry dock at the airport, or the million-dollar CCTV camera network that never seems to be working, or the million-dollar helicopter that rarely converts an arrest, despite the heavy narco-traffic in our region.  These are all very expensive toys to show off, but they only work if they are actually used for interdiction of crime with an eye towards producing arrests and convictions.  Until we start reading a lot more about the RCIPS raiding known gang areas and leadership, we reserve the right to be pessimistic.

  2. Cayman Justice says:

    I just pray that they do a little audit of all those pepper spray "trigger happy" officers and make sure they don't get their hands on a taser. God help us all if we're even standing near by a disturbance 'cause you're liable to get the "shock" of your life!

  3. Anonymous says:

    As with all such things, these weapons are only going to be as useful or as dangerous as the people who wield them. BUT, as with all potentially lethal weapons (because these things have killed many an “offender” in other jurisdictions) there needs to be clear guidelines so that officers are not vested withtheir own arbitrary auuthority of when and how to use these things. Have any such guidelines been implemented? If so, when and where can the public have sight of such guidelines? Because we have a right to know whether we run the risk of being shocked to death in our cars just because some overzealous officer decided that he didn’t want his authority to be questioned.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hope tasing will not be their first means of protection. Tasing is very dangerous, as there are numerous reports out there in the USA of Police misusing a taser. Tasers are to be used by trained professionals, not Policemen that are barely trained. Use this weapon wisely and make sure you don't obtain a death on your hands. Just saying!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wow, everybody has an opinion but no one has a solution. Its easier to point fingers and blame the police, gorvernment, or whom ever else for the influx of crime in our beloved Cayman Islands.  Anyone every stop to think, "where/who are the parents for these persons committing crimes?" Maybe we should blame ourselves as parents and as a society. So the next time you want to point fingers, ask yourself this. "What have i done/tried to make it better?"

  6. Castor says:

    Dear God, save us from the Buffoons! On doesn’t need to be a genius to know where this is going.

  7. anonymous says:

    Clearly people don't listen to or read what is actually going on here, so let me try and set the record straight alittle:

    1 – the taser is only going out to highly trained officers from 2 units in the rcip to provide a less lethal option for the firearms officers and tool to be used in public disorder / violent situations by the new operational support unit, it is NOT going out to all officers

    2 – the tasers have live video and audio which records everything as soon as the taser is taken off safety, this is downloaded for government and the governors office, you can't abuse these things without it being recorded and can't edit / delete anything

    3 – the pepper spray used by the rcip is compatable with the taser, no-one is gonna get 'LIT UP' unless they've covered themselves in gas and the officers carrying taser have been trained for that scenario

    4 – Yes, the officers carrying have felt the effects of the taser, just like every officer has felt the effects of pepper spray, how can stand up in court and justify its use if you haven't a) had the required trained and passed the course and b) know what the effects will be and have to deal with the after care

    5 – can someone supply data on this heartattack / pacemaker crap? i think you'll find that in those cases taser was found not to be the cause and i agree with comments on here, whether you have a weak heart or not if you're not doing something wrong and / or  breaking the law you have nothing to worry about (please remind yourselves of point 2 at this point)

    6 – i have seen comments that the rcip staff should get more self defence training and yes I agree they should, however, the government is on its financial ass right now, they can't even supply the rcip the money to give all its officers body armour so what use is self defense to an unarmed officer who hasn't got body armour going to a domestic where one of the parties is drunk or high or both and weilding a machete, how many of you out there would trust your 'self defense' skills and get within the reach of that machete???

    Basically I'm glad that a select few have undergone the rigorous training course, exams, practical assessments, first aid training and qualifications shoots in order to carry this less than lethal option and I can guarantee it won't matter if you're local or expat, you come up against one of these trained officers and you're in the wrong then expect them to consider using their taser, cos they will

    Oh, by way of a final point – THEY CAN'T PLAY WITH THESE OR STUN PEOPLE FOR FUN OR USE THEM EXCESSIVELY WITHOUT IT ALLLLLL BEING RECORDED!!!

    Has this sunk in now?? 

  8. Diogenes says:

     "it is more than four years since any officer in the RCIPS was forced to fire a gun at a suspect" – really? Forced? The only one I recall was an officer shooting at a fleeing vehicle – hardly forced, and press coverage and discussion of the incident very muted and very short lived.  

  9. Anonymous says:

    Don't let children play with matches…. Did they have many incidents of people resisting arrests in the past? This is the only time a taser might come handy. Waste of money. Investing in training and education, including legal of RCIPS officers would have been better spent money. But starting with hiring already highly educated people seemslike a good idea. May be then RCIPS would not need an army useless individuals, can't call them officers, sorry…

  10. Anonymous says:

    I'm sure these tasers will doa ton of good against all the armed individuals on island that seem to be causing the problems.

    I hope the RCIPS know what they're doing when they bring a taser to a gun fight.

    • Anonymous says:

      How???? How a taiser can go against a gun? 

      • Anonymous says:

        That is exactly the point that the commenter is trying to make. We obviously seem to have an issue with illegal firearms and now gun crimes on our island and the best the RCIPS could come up with is a taser? Time to crack down gentlemen, because it always seems like the criminals on island are 10 steps ahead of the RCIPS.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So just one person was tasered during the training?

    Surely officers who recieved the training should have been tasered so that they know exactly how strong the shock is and what it feels like?

    Once knowing what it feels like officers are less likely to fire multiple times.

  12. Kato says:

    I believe every home owner should have one. Betcha those would be burgelers would think twice!

  13. Anonymous says:

    No one begrudges the right of the police to defend themselves in the course of their duty. Are there any lawyers out there that would take a stab at prosecuting the police should it be proven that a taser was used unnecessarily?

    There are horror stories of people that are inebriated or in wheelchairs being tasered when they represent no threat to the police. If a criminal has a gun or a knife or another weapon like a baseball bat, machete etc, then I'd say a taser was justified IF the criminal had been warned and told to lay the weapon down. You can't just go running around with these potentially lethal devices shocking the shit out of people just because you can.

    Let mealso say something about Gabe Rabess. This man's name will be found on the wall of honour in the Squash Club. He has also represented Cayman at the World Police Games. He is a top notch athlete with an incredible level of physical fitness and was probably asked very nicely if he would volunteer. I'm not sure if some of the other porkers in the cops would have come out of it so gracefully.

    I would have preferred to have seen Mr. Baines test it out followed closely by the Governor. Perhaps it would loosen his tongue? Don't begrudge me the giggle, guys?

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would you want to taser our Governor?  He's a nice guy.  Now KeKe on the other hand…we would finally get to the bottom of dynamitegate and goverment credit cardgate, etc.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Someone a$$ Will get light up soon lol!
    That will be a shocking surprise for the criminals lol! Perfect!!!

    Braca

  15. Anonymous says:

    Trust a cop??

    If they cant be responsible for Security Vans and Motorcycles which are still missing, how can we trust them to not be irresponsible / prejeducial and baised in the sue of these tasers.

    Watch and see how many "non-locals" get zapped in the next year!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    The police have responded to the ever increasing crime rate by introducing new tools like bulletproof vests and tasers to protect the RCIPS officers.

    Does anybody know what new tools/options have been provided to the average resident or business ownerwho is also at the frontline of the ever increasing crime situation in the Cayman Islands?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hold your breath on that one…they can't protect you and you are NOT ALLOWED to protect yourself

    • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

      Because those on the frontline are not united, nothing will be done in their favor. Let me say that differently, any undefended right will be taking from you.  Unite and do something about it.

      • Anonymous says:

        I mostly agree with your position on this matter. However, how can we bring about the required changes if the finial decisions regarding these matters do not reside with the citizens of the Cayman Islands?

        It is my opinion that the administering authority has no intention of changing the way things are done and, if they have their way, would in fact make it more difficult for residents and business owners to protect themselves and their property.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Tasers cost between 400 and 1000 US, so why do these ones have to cost 1,972 CI each ?

    Must be nice to spend other peoples money . . . . . .

  18. Anonymouse says:

    Oh Gosh, now we're arming the idiots…

  19. Anonymous says:

    Watch for the abuse. Let's see how many are reported this week end.

    Would be better to give them guns. They may think twice about using them..Let's see how many people die from heart attacks after being tased by irresponsible and untrained RCIP officers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you not see the part about every taser having an audio and video camera which records everything as soon as the safety is switched off _ get you facts straight

  20. Anonymous says:

    I hope you all don’t tase someone that has a battery opporarated heart! If you do the govt will be paying out some serious $$$$$$$$!

    Braca

    • Anonymous says:

      And they better not smoke my iPhone!

    • Anonymous says:

      Battery operated heart? hahahha What's the chance of that happening? How often do you come across Terminator or some other cyborg on the Brac?

  21. Anonymous says:

    I’m happy they’re carrying tasers, what about training the security guards to carry these, after all rcip cannot be everywhere! Mr. Baines?

    Caymanian

  22. Anonymous says:

    The question will be…who’s gonna step up first! After the first one…the news will spread fast like fire.

  23. Anon says:

    No more speeding for me now. I promise to obey all traffic laws.

  24. Word Up says:

    Electrifying news.

  25. Anonymous says:

    absolutely carzy ! this place is not the Bronx !!

    Give the cops some self defence training

  26. Truthful says:

    How shocking!!

  27. Cayman Born says:

    I plan to go to A La Kebab and get me some food and park in the parking lot of Jet or Elements and watchall the fun next week. Dropping like flies they shall be. Looking forward to seeing some of these bad boys get the shock of their life!!

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL!!! I would laugh if this wasn't so serious.

      So we have decided to give inept police a 50,000 volt weapon. Some of these "cops" are nothing more than half twits with a uniform. Now, to put frosting on their egotistical cakes, we are giving them a weapon to shock you into submission.

      It is hard enough to communicate with some of these cavemen now, imagine when they get this ego-booster in their hands.

      Yet, the criminals that have brought fear into the hearts of good citizens shall never feel the sting of these "new weapons angainst crime"

      • Anonymous says:

        Just a suggestion… It may be easier to communicate with them if you stop referring to them as cavemen. Just sayin

        • I only mentioned "Cavemen"as a ?? to a previous writer's com says:

          Good morning, I do agree and take your suggestion quite well as to NOT refer to them as "cavemen". Yes if people are called "cavemen" then they would feel that they must ACT like "cavemen" and not communicate reasonably with people. Your point is well taken. However, if you read carefully and observed you would have noticed that I was ONLYYYYYY and  ????????? referring/responding to a previous ( the original author of "cavemen") who said that they were acting like "cavemen" and I said it could not be the locals/NATIVE ones because they are almost NO Longer there. At the said time please DOoooo NOTtttttt  feel for one second that I am anti-expatriate but very PRO persons who come here with good intentions. I also see the importance of having more of our locals (also ones with good intentions) in the Law Enforcement Service.

           A qoute from the Holy Bible that I am trying to live by daily is Proverbs chapter 15: verse #1 states "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger".

          As a point to prove and as a NATIVE, I FIND it very important as it comes from the Bottom of my HEART, for me to thank THE Commissioner of Police and his Team, The Governor , The Deputy Governor in addition to all the others who are rallying behind having our additional "EyE Remain In The SKY". I know it cost money to have our Helicopter remain in the Sky but for my knowledge, experience, wisdom and exposure iternationally there is nothing that can fly in the sky that will be able to replace the value of a Helicopter.

          Thanks again for your time and understanding.

      • Cavemen?????????????? says:

        We're not sure who these cavemen are ???????

        I don't think that we can be talking about the locals (from here) because we don't have tooooooooooo manyyyyyyy of them remaining in service. However, I do support some kind of security upgrade but to be used by people who CAN be reasonable with the use. If these are the people, give it to them. They need the support. Our concerns would be, issuing serious equipment to anyone who come from places where they have developed a mind set that life has very little to no value (people with serious issues).

        We have approached the time when reasonable people from all Law Enforcement Agencies will need to be in a position to Protect Our Borders (our beautiful islands) for all to continue enjoying.

        We are looking forward to great (a good balance) results from this new equipment.

        Thanks for reading and may GOD continue to Bless these beautiful Cayman Islands and all the people who step on our shores and remain here to work with us and especially having good intentions. Thanks for your HARD work.

        A Native who appreciate (cherish) and know the value of locals but is also willing to open arms and hear this, ONLY to those who come here with good intentions (Civilians or Law Enforement).

        Our Borders mean much to us, its the only place some of us have as options to go/live.  

        Thanks !

         

  28. Anonymous says:

    well i hope they dont abuse this privaledge….knowing them they would use it just for the sake of using it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rubbish! They have proven to use an over abundence of caution. Over 4 years since they have used firearms. The public tends to complain about their perceived purposeful delay arriving at armed robbery scenes. Also someone was arrested off Shedden Road last year brandishing a fake semi-automatic weapon.

      • Anonymous says:

        "The public tends to complain about their perceived purposeful delay arriving at armed robbery scenes."

        Did you tell this to the last woman that was raped in her home?

        • Anonymous says:

          Was that an armed robbery scene? Please learn to read before you rattle off rubbish through your keyboard.

          • Anonymous says:

            Are you saying that the police respond slower to a report of an armed robbery?

            You clearly did not take the time to read and understand the comment.

  29. kevin says:

    What happens if you have a weak heart?  50,000 volts is a serious shocker.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Great news for the Police 2013 should shape up to be a shocking new year on crime 🙂

  31. Anonymous says:

    CUC’S MONOPOLY FINALLY BROKEN!!!!

  32. Just Saying says:

    Is it also safe for us to use a taser to protect ourselves against any dumb officers???? 

  33. Anonymous says:

    don't tase me bro!