All officers from Derbyshire Constabulary selected to use Taser must pass an intensive four-day Taser training course prior to becoming qualified ‘Specially Trained Officers (STOs)’. The course includes assessments on decision making, scenario based incidents, use of force and the medical implications of the use of Taser.
Taser training in Derbyshire doesn’t just focus on the Taser itself. It helps officers to fine tune existing skills and teaches them the importance of communication, an in depth knowledge of the use of the National Decision Model (NDM), justification and management of post-use procedures.
Before attending a Taser training course, officers must be up-to-date with Officer Safety Training, their fitness assessment, first aid, have a valid eyesight test and have been recommended by their unit Superintendents. The officer’s professional standards records are also checked.
Officers must pass the intensive four-day Taser Initial course before qualifying as a Taser officer. The course combines practical scenarios with classroom-based learning and continuous assessment.
Taser Initial course contents
- Roles and responsibilities of a Taser operator
- Safe handling of the weapon and its use
- Awareness on dealing with vulnerable people
- Operational skills and tactics
- Post usage
Officers are continuously assessed throughout the course. There are three specific tests :-
1. Qualification shoot - officers are tested in accuracy, handling the Taser and use of safety against static targets as depected below.
2. A written exam - Pass or Fail
3. Scenarios - officers are tested in situations that resemble real life. eg how to deal with someone armed with a knife, as depicted below.
Once qualified as a Taser user officers must take part in annual refresher training to remain operational as a Taser user.
Taser Manager's Course
This is a one-day course which provides supervisors with the knowledge and skills to:
- understand how Taser is used operationally
- manage post use procedure
- manage a Taser store room
- book Tasers in and out
- download and maintain Tasers
The course is classroom based but includes practical elements around downloading firing data from Tasers.
There are stringent processes in place to ensure officers use Taser appropriately.
Officers have to justify every time they remove the Taser from the holster. This justification is checked by a number of levels of supervision.
Every time an officer removes the Taser from the holster they are required to complete an account of the incident that led to its removal. This is quality assured by their line supervisor, then by the forces Taser SPOC (Single Point of Contact) to check that national guidance and best practice is followed.
There is an Independent Oversight Group that monitors the use of Taser. All uses are subject to scrutiny by senior officers and are reviewed by the Independent Oversight Group who monitor the use within Derbyshire.
- Dataport - Every Taser has a dataport which records details each time the Taser is fired
- Cartridges - Each cartridge is marked with a unique serial number and must be signed out by the officer who takes it.
- Identification discs - When the Taser is fired, hundreds of small coloured identification discs (like confetti) are ejected from the cartridge along with the wires that carry the electric charge.
- A supervisor is responsible for the evidence capture, where a Taser has been discharged in any operational circumstance.
- The Home Office will be informed of every Taser use, noting the effect and basic rationale for use.
- All officers are accountable for their use of force in
Authorised Professional Practice (APP) for Conductive Energy Devices (Taser)