Should Police Departments Develop Specific Training and Policies Governing Use of Multiple TASER Shocks Against Individuals Who Might Be in Vulnerable Physiological States?

Document Type



Politics and Economics (CGU)

Publication Date



Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This essay focuses on the "policing implications" stemming from the work by White and Ready (2009, this issue). More specifically, it addresses the policy guidance stating:

More research is needed to explore the relationship between mental illness, drug use (illicit or therapeutic), continued resistance, and increased risk of death. In the meantime, police departments should develop specific training and policies governing the use of multiple TASER shocks against individuals who may be in these vulnerable physiological and psychological states.

It is not the intent of this essay to critique or asses the viability of the data set or statistical methodology White and Ready (2009) used to provide this guidance. Enough significant variance in findings and resulting policy implications exists with other studies—most notably, the findings of William Bozeman, lead investigator of a National Institute of Justice (NIJ) study (NIJ, 2008) for others to offer methodological criticisms.¹ For the purposes of this policy essay, we will simply assume that the research findings of the article in question are irrefutable and not subject to debate.

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© 2009 by the American Society of Criminology

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