Upgraded tasers are timely new weapon for police force
It’s not clear when or if new tasers being tested by police will come to Auckland.
The X2 model tasers are being trialled by a handful of Wellington officers over the next six months as police look towards an option for replacing its current fleet of the weapons.
The new model is more advanced than its predecessor and includes the ability to fire twice as many cartridges into an offender before needing to be reloaded.
But a police spokeswoman says a timeframe has not been set down for a national rollout if the trial is successful.
Latest figures show officers in the Auckland City District have only had to use tasers 29 times since they were introduced in 2010.
They’ve been presented, but not discharged, an additional 114 times.
Nationally they have helped resolve 1500 high-risk situations.
Police national manager of operations Superintendent Barry Taylor says there is no question that tasers have been highly successful but it is time for an improvement.
He described the latest taser as ‘‘simply an upgrade’’.
‘The advantage of the X2 is that it would not only provide greater cer- tainty and security for police staff when they confront violent and dangerous offenders, but would also help improve public safety by giving police added capacity to de-escalate high-risk situations including those involving more than one offender,’’ Mr Taylor says.
The tasers currently used carry a camera that is activated when it is turned on to record the situation. The new model has a higher definition colour camera and cannot be fired for more than five seconds at a time.
Also being trialled are officer-operated body cameras that will help better record situations where tasers are used.
Shock tactic: Senior Sergeant Alan Reece demonstrates the new X2 Taser that police are trialling in conjunction with a video camera worn on glasses.