A Taser is an electroshock weapon that uses electrical current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles.

Minutes of the CPRB Meeting Held on April 25, 2006

The educational retreat is scheduled for Saturday, May 20, 2006 at the Kingsley Community Center, 6435 Franktown Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm; In response to the Board’s concerns regarding the continued efficacy of TASER, Ms. Pittinger reported that she is researching the increase of nationally reported deaths occurring in temporal proximity to TASER exposure. TASER was deployed by the PBP in late 2004 and it was used only 5 times in 2004. Review of the first year of TASER deployment (2005) by the PBP revealed an effective deployment in terms of significantly fewer injuries to officers and subjects involved in use of force encounters. In contrast, there has been a 75% decrease in the use of OC Spray. It is Pittinger’s impression that, in Pittsburgh, TASER has not been deployed with enough frequency to have reached the threshold of expectation for a serious adverse event.

Minutes of the CPRB Meeting Held on March 28, 2006

Board members received the Statement of Financial Interests issued by the State Ethics Commission to complete and file with the City Clerk by May 1, 2006; Board members commenced a discussion on reports of an increase of fatalities in taser related incidents; The Board discussed the rumored intention of Chief Costa to eliminate the 60 college-credit requirement for police applicants.

Update to TASER Briefing issued Spring 2004

February 9th, 2005

In the Spring of 2004 the CPRB issued a briefing on TASER use and supported TASER’s implementation as a less lethal force alternative by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police (PBP). The PBP acquired 150 TASER (M26) units and began to deploy them late in 2004. Policies & procedures related to the Use of Force and specifically, governing the use of TASER, were issued by the PBP early in January 2005. During the period between June 1999 December and 2004, at least 84 deaths in which TASER was involved have been reported in the United States and Canada. These deaths have raised serious questions about the safety of TASER and the contributory role TASER may have had in those deaths.

Briefing on TASER Deployment

April 2nd, 2004

The briefing was compiled from a review of various articles, research papers, manufacturer documentation, human rights papers and medical reviews. Less lethal technologies seek to provide alternative tools to police, not replace traditional defensive weapons or eliminate police use of lethal weapons and tactics. They are designed to debilitate or incapacitate human or animal life forms with minimal or no collateral damage. These tools are designed to give a tactical advantage to police.