Ottawa police spending $1 million on new Tasers

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The Ottawa Police Service is spending $1 million on new Tasers.

A report for the Ottawa Police Services Board meeting Monday evening seeks approval to purchase 200 new Conducted Energy Weapons (CEWs), and operational and training cartridges.

Ottawa police approved a three-year plan in 2018 to deploy CEWs to all sworn members who operate in a frontline capacity. At the end of 2020, 960 sworn members were equipped and trained with the weapons.

Staff say the operational lifespan of a CEW is five years.

"The purchase of 200 CEWs is required in 2021 to maintain the lifecycle management plan."

If approved, police will purchase 200 CEWs from Axon Public Safety Canada.

CALLS FOR SERVICE INCREASE IN THE SPRING

The Ottawa Police Service saw a 17 per cent increase in requests for service in the second quarter, as COVID-19 restrictions eased and demand for service returned to historic levels.

A report for the board says there were approximately 87,000 requests for service in the April to June period, with 82,000 calls through dispatch and 5,000 requests for service received through online reporting.

"As the Province achieved milestones in the Roadmap to Reopen Ontario, restrictive measures to curb community transmission have been lifted," says the report for Monday's meeting.

"Outdoor activities have resumed, indoor services have started to increase, and larger gatherings are being permitted. With fewer restrictions, demand for service has seen a natural return to historical levels."

Police say calls requiring a mobile response increased by 20 per cent through the second quarter, driven by an increased focus on traffic enforcement, responding to collisions and thefts.