LE Services: TASER Best Practices and Critical Skills Training for Users Seminars

VML Insurance Programs (VMLIP) members who purchase Law Enforcement Liability coverage have access to a variety of resources offered by VMLIP Law Enforcement Specialist Thomas Bullock.

Bullock recently coordinated two Conducted Electrical Device (CED) Best Practices and Critical Skills Training seminars for law enforcement members. Even though this seminar was designed primarily for law enforcement personnel, risk managers and other town officials were invited to attend to gain a better understanding of how CED’s work, and the best practices that should guide their use.

Given the prevalent use of TASERs and the recent Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Armstrong v. The Village of Pinehurst, Bullock felt that it was important to provide VMLIP’s members with additional training in this critical area. Many of the attendees will utilize the information and skills learned through the seminar to conduct CED training within their departments.

VMLIP collaborated with Gerald Takano with Mindset Force Management, LLC, to conduct seminars on TASER best practices. Takano is a use of force specialist with more than 24 years of law enforcement experience with an agency of approximately 800 sworn officers. He has conducted primary research on TASERs to include: heart effects; body mapping; pain and incapacitation ratings; as well as studies on capture errors that affect TASER training liability.

Seminar goals included improving overall knowledge of CED’s, as well as providing the information needed for attendees to provide use of force instruction and risk management within their law enforcement organizations. The course provided an overview on frequently confused facts about the use of CED’s, as well as on the liability with respect to their usage.

Takano reviewed Circuit Court of Appeals cases, while also providing attendees with a quick and effective stress force decision-making model. He justified his training with relevant medical and technical research, and provided examples of misuse and abuse of CED’s. He also provided research and data to help attendees better develop their instruction on the use of CED’s within their department.

Feedback from the seminars has been overwhelmingly positive:

  • “The decision-making model was very interesting as a training technique.”
  • “I think all TASER instructors should participate in this workshop. I feel that this information is vital because it is independent and realistic…great class and thanks VMLIP for hosting.”
  • “I feel that the TASER class was very beneficial. Sergeant Takano did a great job in presenting the information in an unbiased fashion. In the fast paced and ever changing environment of the law enforcement profession, it is imperative that police chiefs and sheriffs gather as much information as possible from multiple sources when drafting and reviewing policies and procedures. This course provided exactly what I was looking for which was an unbiased sharing of information from a source other than the product manufacturer. The information was provided to attendees without any attempt to sway anyone’s opinion of the TASER. I plan to incorporate information from the class into our response to resistance and aggression policy.”

Takano possesses numerous instructor level certifications to include firearms, subject control, edged weapons, pepper spray, and police baton, to name a few. TASER manufacturer’s technician, instructor, and master instructor courses are also among his certifications. He is a graduate of the Force Science Institute and the Institute for the Prevention of In-Custody Death Instructor. He has an extensive martial arts background and military experience.

As the feedback has been positive from the seminars, VMLIP will schedule more of these valuable seminars for members with Law Enforcement Liability coverage. For more information on this training, contact Thomas Bullock at tbullock@vmlins.org or 1-800-963-6800.