According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, during 2007 there were four line-of-duty deaths by violence in Canada; three by gunfire and one by vehicular assault. But there hasn't been a violent death of a police officer in Canada since early-November 2007. [LINK]
The two deaths during 2008 were due to heart attack and automobile accident, not violence. [LINK] During 2009 (to date), there have been none. [LINK]
2004: 4 officer deaths by violence
2005: 5 " "
2006: 4 " "
2007: 4 " "
2007-November: ...all hell breaks loose...
2009: ZERO (to date) [LINK]
Why the sudden flat-lining (to zero) of violent deaths of police officers in Canada? Is it just a strange coincidence that this step-function drop (from a consistent 4 or 5 per year -> to zero) seems to be time-aligned with the public reaction triggered by the killing of Mr. Dziekanski in mid-October 2007? For example, this blog was started on 25 November 2007. Much of the public reaction was as a result of the release of the video (video made all the difference).
It would be interesting to have a study that determines if tasers save lives, or if simple, old-school de-escalation techniques are actually many times more effective and safer for all concerned. Ya wanna place a bet?
The raw data certainly seems to indicate a strange correlation between reliance on tasers during the years 2003-2007 and an increased rate of violent deaths of police officers in Canada during the same period. This is a fact that pulls the belief-system carpet out from under The Church of the Taser.
Police officials in Canada need to think long and hard about who their friends really are. Who is getting them into hot water (Hey! Don't blame the messenger!)? Who is selling them a product that perhaps isn't quite what it might seem? Who is controlling the training and trainers? Who is bending the line into a circle [LINK]?
The following old quote seems to be applicable when dealing with those slick-talking salesmen selling too-good-to-be-true Star Trek phasers:
The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hey! It's time to count your spoons.
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