Vancouver police fired tasers 27 times last year

Vancouver police officers fired their tasers 27 times in 2008, according to a report to the Vancouver police board.

These “Taser applications” were 64 percent lower than the 74 times that stun guns were used by members of the Vancouver Police Department in 2007, stated the same report prepared by the VPD’s planning, research, and audit section.

No explanation of why taser use dropped was provided.

The report, on the agenda for the police board’s Wednesday (March 18) meeting, noted that it is “unlikely that other jurisdictions experienced such a similar decrease”, but then again no explanation for that statement was offered.

It recalled that last year, Vancouver police responded to about 189,000 “dispatched calls for service”, of which 41,000 were “combined violent and property crimes”.

“It is worth pointing out that, in this context of volume of work, the VPD used a Taser, on average, only twice a month,” the report stated.

Based on the 2008 data cited by the report, police in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, fired tasers 23 times. Greater Sudbury has a population of about 162,000.

The report said that in comparison to Greater Sudbury, it is “significant” that VPD members used tasers only four more times while policing a city with a population of over 611,000.