Castlemaine, Kyneton police to carry Tasers

The regional roll out of Tasers to general duties and highway patrol officers began in 2016 after a trial in Bendigo, which started in 2010. File photo.
The regional roll out of Tasers to general duties and highway patrol officers began in 2016 after a trial in Bendigo, which started in 2010. File photo.

Police in Kyneton and Castlemaine will be the latest officers to carry Tasers as a regional roll out of the device continues.

General duties and highway patrol officers at the two stations will begin carrying the Taser-branded conducted energy devices (CEDs) from tomorrow, May 17, 2017.

It follows a 12-month trial which started in Bendigo in 2010, extending to other regional 24-hour police stations from 2016.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Wendy Steendam said more police would now have further non-lethal options to resolve incidents when dealing with violent people and those threatening self-harm. 

“Unfortunately over recent years there has been an increase in the number of incidents where police have been confronted by armed and violent people and those who are drug or alcohol affected,” she said. 

“These are often physical confrontations where police, members of the community and the individuals themselves are at risk of being injured.”

Deputy Commissioner Steendam said officers were required to undertake a two-day course before being able to carry Tasers. 

“Once our officers are trained in their use, CEDs can provide an additional tactical option to help resolve some of these high risk incidents,” she said. 

“They can only be used when it’s believed it will prevent death or serious injury. In many cases, the presentation of a CED alone can help to safely diffuse a situation.” 

Officers are also required to undertake regular training, which includes negotiating and communicating techniques and general operational tactics and safety training. 

Deputy Commissioner Steendam said Victoria Police would continue to have strict accountability processes in place to monitor and record the use of the CEDs, including video recording when one was presented and deployed. 

In total, police at 36 stations will carry Tasers, with the roll out continuing until mid-2018.