To receive approval to use electronic control weapons (ECW) (commonly referred to as Tasers®), law enforcement agencies must submit an application to the Secretary of Public Safety and Security, as set forth in  501 CMR 8.00: Standards for Law Enforcement Training in the Use of Electronic Weapons and the Sale of Electronic Weapons in the Commonwealth pdf format of Taser Regulations .

The law enforcement agency must submit all of the following as its application:

 

  1. The training curriculum the law enforcement agency plans to use to train its officers. Any training plan must comply with 501 CMR 8.05: Training Programs on the Use of Electronic Weapons. The agency may use one of the following options:
  • The Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) Basic Course Certification Lesson Plan. If the agency intends to use this curriculum, it need not submit the actual curriculum to the EOPSS. The agency should state in writing in one of its internal policies that it will use the MPTC model plan to train its officers.
  • The Taser® manufacturer lesson plan. If the agency intends to use this curriculum, it need not submit the actual curriculum to the EOPSS. The agency should state in writing in one of its internal policies that it will use the Taser manufacturer lesson plan to train its officers.
  • If the agency would like to use a curriculum created internally, or a curriculum which incorporates certain components of the MPTC and/or Taser curriculum, it must submit its proposed curriculum to the EOPSS. The training curriculum must comply with 501 CMR 8.05 pdf format of Taser Regulations .
  1. The training received by the instructor(s) responsible for teaching the proposed training curriculum. Instructors must be certified by the Municipal Police Training Committee or the Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police and receive a minimum of 16 hours of instruction on training officers in the use of ECWs. A statement regarding the training of all present and future instructors must be included in one of the agency's policies.
  1. The department's use of force policy. The submission must include all of the following:
    1. A review of the department's less than lethal force policy;
    2. A segment on the use of an ECW as less than lethal force; and
    3. The relation of ECWs to other weapons and use of force options within the department's use of force policy.
  1. Reporting requirements. An assurance that the law enforcement agency will comply with all reporting requirements of G.L. c. 140, § 131J and St.2004, c. 170.

Submissions should be sent to: Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, c/o Elisabeth Ryan, Assistant General Counsel, One Ashburton Place, Room 2133, Boston, MA 02108.  Applications take approximately 3-4 weeks to review, unless additional follow-up questions are necessary. The Secretary's decision will be sent in writing to the law enforcement agency. If approved, the Secretary will send the agency a data collection form that must be completed on a quarterly basis and returned to the EOPSS Office of Grants & Research. Instructions will be included in such approval package.

Once the Secretary has approved a law enforcement agency for the use of electronic control weapons, the agency may begin to train its officers in the proper use of such weapons. In order for an officer to qualify for the training program the officer must be eligible under the following criteria:

  • The officer must currently be employed as a federal, state, or municipal law enforcement officer, or a member of a special reaction team in a state prison or designated special operations or tactical team in a county correctional facility;
  • The officer must have successfully completed a firearms training course conducted by the MPTC or approved by the Massachusetts State Police; and
  • The officer must be authorized by the law enforcement agency to carry a firearm in the performance of duty.

If you have questions regarding the application process or requirements, please contact Howard Lebowitz, Director of Programs and Standards, Municipal Police Training Committee at 781-437-0304.