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Aegis Expresses Concern Regarding Stun Device Placement on Force Continuum.

MONTEREY, Calif. -- Aegis Industries is deeply concerned by the recommendation announced late last week by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Tactical Skills Advisory Committee. This recommendation, which places stun devices at the same level as pepper spray on the state's force continuum, may not be consistent with the scientific and medical evidence to support this decision. This recommendation by the Advisory Board, which will be presented to the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Law Enforcement Standards Board in June, also might not adequately identify or consider the known health factors associated with high-risk individuals susceptible to these same devices.

"While Aegis absolutely advocates the specific placement of stun devices on the force continuum, we also believe that this placement should accurately reflect the level of scientific medical evidence available and consider all aspects of human biology. For example, body weight is an important factor in how the body reacts to being stunned and individuals with lower body mass are at a higher risk for adverse health effects. Consideration of the more sensitive populations must be taken into account (e.g. elderly, children) in order to promote the highest level of public safety and trust," said Kenneth Stethem, CEO of Aegis Industries. "Placement of stun devices too low on the force continuum at this time is not advisable and does not adequately consider the biological factors associated with high risk individuals or the growing public concern regarding these devices."

Recent incidences of multiple stun use in Ohio, Florida, and New York have increased public concern and also called into question the health effects associated with multiple stuns. Repeated stun application can indicate ineffectiveness and diminished efficacy while increasing health risks. "Until more scientific evidence is provided multiple stun use should be highly restricted and individuals with low body mass and weight should not be stunned," remarked Stethem. "Aegis Industries has called for expanded basic research on the effects of stun device use and sponsored a recent conference to assess these issues (www.potomacinstitute.com)." Similar reasoning can be applied to restrict the use of stun devices on individuals demonstrating signs of a drug induced state, mental illness, respiratory distress as well as those individuals already in custody.

Numerous police agencies nationwide are reviewing and revising their policies regarding the use of stun devices in response to the guidelines set forth in a report released by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP, http://www.iacp.org/research/rcdcuttingedgetech.htm). "The purpose of the IACP guidelines was to limit the excessive use and abuse of this technology and we believe that public safety is compromised when stun devices are used prematurely. Therefore we believe that it is prudent for stun devices to be placed slightly higher on the force continuum than the Wisconsin Advisory Board has recommended, especially given the disparity in policies between law enforcement agencies (from the suspension of the use of these devices until more studies can be conducted to the parity with pepper spray)," concluded Stethem.

Aegis Industries, Inc. is the emerging market leader in the stun industry and specializes in the design and development of intermediate force options for the military, law enforcement, corrections, and the private security industry. You can learn more about Aegis Industries at www.aegispds.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 27, 2005
Words:545
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