Over the last several decades, “Tasers,” “stun guns” and other conducted energy devices (CEDs) have become a widely adopted, though publicly controversial, form of police restraint technology. While there is a growing body of research on the physiological effects of these types of weapons, less attention has been devoted to the social effects of this technology. This paper draws on in - depth interviews with a stratified random sample of police training officers from two states (n=27) to explore the effect that community controversy over the use of CEDs has had on police organizational practices. In particular, we explore how police training officers: (a ) Represent the sources of recent community controversies relating to CEDs; (b ) Characterize the effects that community controversy has on officer practices and policy development.


Use-of-Force, Tasers, Controversy, Community, Police Training, In - Depth Interviews


We would like thank Brandon Long for his outstanding research assistance on this project. This research was partially funded by the University of Idaho’s, 2009-2010 Faculty Seed Grant Program.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.


Submission Location


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.