Conducted Electrical Weapons
On March 11, 2013, the Vermont Attorney General convened a public forum to evaluate law enforcement’s use of Conducted Electrical Weapons (CEWs) commonly referred to as Tasers. This forum included a panel consisting of Senator Alice Nitka, Representative Bill Lippert, Vermont ACLU Executive Director Allen Gilbert, Ed Paquin from Disability Rights Vermont, and Attorney General Bill Sorrell. The forum also consisted of presentations by law enforcement, Disability Rights Vermont, the former Executive Director of the Vermont Human Rights Commission, and the Chair of the City of Montpelier’s Committee on Tasers. Finally, members of the public were invited to provide oral comments at the forum and written comments after the forum. As a result of the forum, the Attorney General made two requests.
The first request asked Vermont’s Criminal Justice Training Council to conduct a comprehensive and formal review of the training provided to Vermont law enforcement officers regarding CEWs and regarding interactions with persons in crises or with cognitive disabilities or impairments. In response, the Executive Director of the Vermont Police Academy provided a memo reviewing the current training on CEWs and on Interacting with Persons in Crisis. A copy of that memo can be found here.
The second request asked the Law Enforcement Advisory Board to review existing policies regarding the use of CEWs and to develop a statewide policy on the use of CEWs. The work of the Criminal Justice Training Council and the Law Enforcement Advisory Board is ongoing. The following materials document their progress thus far.
CEW Forum Public Comments as of March 25, 2013
CEW Forum Public Comments from March 25 to April 1, 2013
CEW Forum Recommendations
June 6, 2013 Letter to the Law Enforcement Advisory Board
June 6, 2013 Letter to the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council
Law Enforcement Advisory Board’s CEW Subcommittee’s Draft CEW Policy
Public Comments to the Draft CEW Policy
Summary of the CEW Subcommittee’s Actions