Less lethal intervention options
Conducted energy weapon
The conducted energy weapon is a less lethal intervention option. It allows police to protect the public and subjects from harm. It was adopted by the RCMP in December 2001.
RCMP officers can only carry conducted energy weapons on duty after they complete training.
Using a conducted energy weapon
RCMP officers take into account, whenever possible, other significant risk factors before using a conducted energy weapon. For example, officers need to consider a subject's:
- known health concerns (for example, heart conditions, pregnancy)
- surrounding environment (for example, falling from a significant height or into deep water, or the presence of flammable substances)
Training and policy
RCMP members need to re-certify every year to continue carrying a conducted energy weapon.
RCMP policy regarding the use of a conducted energy weapon is clear. Officers can use it only:
- according to their training
- under the principles of the Incident Management/Intervention Model
- when a person is causing, or may soon cause, themselves or someone else harm
RCMP officers are trained to use de-escalation and crisis intervention techniques before using a conducted energy weapon.
When using a conducted energy weapon, an RCMP officer's actions must be reasonable, and the intervention must be necessary in the circumstances.
Officers who use an intervention option must clearly report why they took the actions they did based on:
- the situation
- when, where and how the event took place
Supervisors and managers are responsible for ensuring:
- all Subject Behaviour/Officer Response reports are filled out correctly
- all relevant RCMP conducted energy weapon policies and procedures were followed
Conducted energy weapon testing
We continually test conducted energy weapons to make sure they are working properly. Our divisions submit at least 10% of their conducted energy weapon inventory for independent testing each year. Specific provincial or territorial policies may require additional testing.
Independent testing of a conducted energy weapon at a designated testing facility is completed when:
- use of a conducted energy weapon causes death or injury requiring medical treatment
- a conducted energy weapon doesn't work properly
- a supervisor or manager determines that testing is needed to address performance concerns
- before a new conducted energy weapon is put into operational service
We continuously review new research into conducted energy weapons so we can improve policies, protocols and training.
Extended range impact weapon
The extended range impact weapon is a less lethal weapon that fires large sponge or silicon-tipped rounds. It's considered an "intermediate weapon" in our Incident Management Intervention Model.
Extended range impact weapons allow officers to respond to a subject who may want to harm themselves or others from a greater distance. This increased distance gives officers more time to attempt de-escalation, when possible.
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