Toronto Police Services Board holds public meeting on Tasers

ABOVE: Police Services Board holds a public meeting about the use of tasers. Robert Malcolm reports. 

TORONTO – The Toronto Police Services Board held a public meeting at city hall Tuesday afternoon on expanding the use of Tasers.

In a press release, the board says it is interested in hearing answers to the following questions:

•Do you think that there should be an expansion of Conducted Energy Weapons (CEW) to front-line officers in Toronto?
•What conditions do you think should be attached to the use of CEWs?
•Do you have specific suggestions regarding training in CEW use?
•What measures do you think could help ensure accountability with respect to use of CEWs by police?

Disarm Toronto Police‘, a network of grass roots activists, will speak outside the meeting before heading in to denounce the suggested expansion of Tasers.

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The push for more stun guns came after the shooting death of Toronto teenager Sammy Yatim on a TTC streetcar in July.

Last month, the provincial government made the move to allow front-line police officers to carry Tasers.

Previously, only supervisors and tactical officers were allowed to use the devices.

WATCH: (Aug. 27) Police officers in Ontario will be allowed to carry stun guns — a move that comes after the fatal shooting of Sammy Yatim on an empty Toronto streetcar. Mike Drolet reports.

Community Safety Minister Madeleine Meilleur said the government will not mandate the use of “conducted energy weapons,” but will permit police forces to equip their officers if they choose.

The minister said it’s up to local police forces to pay for the Tasers – approximately $1,500 each – and subsequent training for officers.

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With close to 2,800 police officers in Toronto, that could put a significant pressure on the municipal budget.

Toronto Police said they will be purchasing more Tasers but would not say when or how many.