Gansler Announces Members of Task Force on Electronic Weapons

Members to Issue Report Next Year

BALTIMORE (Nov. 23, 2008)—Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler on Nov. 20 announced the members of his Task Force on Electronic Weapons. Electronic weapons, or “tasers” as they are commonly called, are utilized by several local, county, and State law enforcement agencies. The Attorney General created the Task Force after meeting with NAACP representatives and community members who voiced their concerns about the lack of consistent training and policies for the use of electronic weapons among law enforcement agencies.

“Electronic weapons can be an effective law enforcement tool, however, it is imperative that we ensure that this tool is used in a manner that is fair, effective, and appropriate,” states Attorney General Gansler. “I would like to thank the citizens who have volunteered to review the use of electronic weapons in Maryland and I look forward to receiving their recommendations.”

The Task Force was formed to review law enforcement’s current policies on electronic weapons and their use of electronic weapons. Specifically, Attorney General Gansler asked that the Task Force provide recommendations for best practices on training and use of such weapons.

The Task Force held its first meeting on November 19, 2008. The Task Force will hold several meetings and issue a report to the Attorney General, the Governor, and the General Assembly by the end of 2009. One or more public hearings will be held and will be announced at a later.

Members of the Task Force on Electronic Weapons include:

-- F. Michael Higginbotham, Professor of Law, University of Baltimore, School of Law. Mr. Higginbotham will serve as Chair of the Task Force.

-- Byron Warnken, Associate Professor of Law, University of Baltimore, School of Law. Mr. Warnken will serve as Co-Chair of the Task Force.

-- Carl Snowden, Director of Civil Rights, Maryland Office of the Attorney General.

-- Julius Bennett, citizen and parent representative.

-- Cindy Boersma, Legislative Director, ACLU of Maryland.

-- Carol Crawford, Assistant State’s Attorney, Montgomery County State’s Attorney Office.

-- Cary J. Hansel, III, Attorney, Joseph, Greenwald & Laake.

-- Vernon Ricks, State Chair on Law Enforcement, NAACP.

-- Dan Seiler, Founder and Chief Investigator, Cops, Inc.

-- Carl Pelton, Lecturer, Anne Arundel County Community College.

Source: Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler

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