Tasers and community controversy: Investigating training officer perceptions of public concern over conducted energy weapons

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Over the last several decades, "Tasers," "stun guns" and other conducted energy devices (CEDs) have become a widely adopted, though publicly controversial, form of police restraint technology. While there is a growing body of research on the physiological effects of these types of weapons, less attention has been devoted to the social effects of this technology. This paper draws on in-depth interviews with a stratified random sample of police training officers from two states (n=27) to explore the effect that community controversy over the use of CEDs has had on police organizational practices. In particular, we explore how police training officers: (a) Represent the sources of recent community controversies relating to CEDs; (b) Characterize the effects that community controversy has on officer practices and policy development. © 2013: Joseph De Angelis, Brian Wolf, and Nova Southeastern University.

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