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article imageRCMP halts use of older model Tasers

By Bob Ewing     Jun 2, 2009 in Crime
The British Columbia government has announced that all older model M-26 Tasers don't meet the manufacturer's specifications; the RCMP have pulled this model from the field.
British Columbia RCMP have been B.C. ordered to pull all 578 of its older-model M-26 Tasers from service after testing showed the same models used by municipal police forces, sheriffs and corrections officers didn't meet the manufacturer's specifications 80 per cent of the time.
Solicitor General Rich Coleman announced the deacon yesterday. The decision has prompted the Mounties to issue a statement from Ottawa saying the force is removing all its M-26 stun guns from active service "until each unit can be tested."
"The RCMP will continue testing the M-26 [conducted energy weapons] in its inventory across the country. Only those confirmed to be functioning appropriately will be returned to service," the statement said.
A CBC/Radio-Canada investigation found some stun guns deliver a stronger jolt than they should and shortly after this finding the Force began lab-testing their Tasers.
Other provinces including Quebec, Alberta and Nova Scotia also decided to test their Tasers and pull some or all off the streets after their own tests showed the weapons failed to work properly.
The RCMP's Taser inventory is being updated as older M-26 units are being replaced with the more reliable X-26 model, the statement said. The new model is smaller and produces less output while achieving the same operational result, it added.
The testing was conducted by MPB Technologies Electronic Centre, an independent laboratory in Ontario, conducted in May, for the B.C. government. It examined 128 older-model M-26 Tasers used by the B.C. municipal police, sheriffs and corrections officers. Of those, 102 failed the test.
Test results of the 128 stun guns revealed:
* 102 did not meet the manufacturer's specifications.
* 101 units had output below the manufacturer's specifications.
* one unit failed due to a combination of factors.
None of the M-26 models can be put back in service until they've been repaired and retested.
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