In 2005, the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), with assistance from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (the COPS Office) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), convened a discussion on conducted energy devices (CEDs). Representatives from more than 50 law enforcement agencies, labor union representatives, academic researchers, medical doctors, and other subject matter experts assembled to develop CED guidelines.
The forum produced 52 guidelines and a comprehensive glossary of terms. The guidelines were not meant to be fully definitive or the final word on CEDs, but rather offer clarification for law enforcement leaders and policymakers. The guidelines were adopted by many law enforcement agencies—at times being adapted to fit the local agency. However, as happens with most controversial and uncertain topics, research continued and real-world situations led to the need for a serious conversation about updating the guidelines.
The COPS Office reignited its partnership with PERF to reassess the Electronic Control Weapon (ECW) (previously named CED) guidelines as well as investigate new developments from the last five years. To do this, PERF conducted background research and administered a survey in 2010 to nearly 200 law enforcement agencies. Another forum was convened in August 2010 that included police executives, researchers, attorneys, and doctors, as well as representatives from Citizen Review Boards and Professional Associations. Attendees discussed current research, survey results, and the 2005 guidelines in light of their professional views and years of experience. The second day of the forum brought together a group of 25 participants in an executive session for a concentrated review and update of the 2005 guidelines. The culmination of the research, survey results, and forum discussion produced the revised 2011 guidelines. These new guidelines are based on seven guiding principles :
Some changes in the 2011 Electronic Control Weapon Guidelines when compared to the 2005 Guidelines include:
With these revised guidelines, it is not only crucial to consider the most appropriate and effective approach for the use of ECWs in your agency, but now it’s easier. Also, the guidlelines stress that communication skills and de-escalation training are still fundamental for ECW training to ensure that the appropriate tool is being used.
For more information on the 2011 Electronic Control Weapon Guidelines, please refer to http://cops.usdoj.gov/RIC/ResourceDetail.aspx?RID=603.
For more information on the 2005 guidelines: http://cops.usdoj.gov/RIC/ResourceDetail.aspx?RID=379
To learn about the Police Executive Research Forum, please refer to http://www.policeforum.org/
Police Executive Research Forum. 2011. 2011 Electronic Control Weapon Guidelines. Washington, D.C.: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, http://cops.usdoj.gov/RIC/ResourceDetail.aspx?RID=603.
The COPS Office