Transit police have ordered a batch of new tasers with plans to equip half the force in the new year.
Forty new tasers are on the way in a move to give officers more non-lethal options on the job.
Spokesperson Anne Drennan says new Cheif Doug LePard spearheaded the effort with one goal in mind.
“Officers should be equipped with whatever tools are available so that they can use less lethal force if that is appropriate under the circumstances.”
Last week police shot a man brandishing a large knife at the 29th avenue SkyTrain station.
Back in 2014, Transit Police officers fatally shot 23-year-old Navarone Woods in a Surrey Safeway. The IIO cleared them of wrongdoing in that incident.
Adequate training needed
But one police “use of force” watchdog says he has concerns about the taser roll out.
Doug King with the Pivot Legal Society says there’s no doubt the tools could cut back on fatalities.
But he says he has concerns officers could deploy the new equipment unnecessarily.
“In addition to having the officers equipped with the devices, they need to have the adequate training to know when to use them and to use them appropriately, obviously one of the reasons why tasers were at one time deployed heavily, and then drawn back on was because they were used inappropriately in many situations.”
King says what’s needed is an independent audit of taser training for police forces across the province.