Electro-Muscular Disruption Technology

Electro-Muscular Disruption Technology (EMDT) is a group of devices that use a high-voltage, low power charge of electricity to induce involuntary muscle contractions that cause temporary incapacitation. More police departments are using EMDT on resisting subjects, with a minimum of serious injuries or lethality. The increased use of these less than lethal weapons, however, has raised concerns about the safety of EMDT, as well as the liability and risks associated with deployment of products such as those made by the major manufacturers, including TASER®, STINGER®, and Law Enforcement Associates.

Electro-Muscular Disruption Technology ‘A Nine-Step Strategy For Effective Deployment'

To address these deployment concerns, the IACP, with grant support from the National Institute of Justice, and in collaboration with the Montgomery County Maryland Police Department, developed an Executive Brief to inform law enforcement leadership on deployment challenges surrounding EMDT technology. The brief offers a systematic guide to aid Law Enforcement Agencies in selecting, acquiring, and using EMDT. Additionally the brief assists law enforcement leadership in developing policies, procedures, and training curricula for the communities they serve by focusing on technology management, rather than EMDT technology itself.

An appendix of references and resources related to the EMDT technology is also included in the brief. IACP will add additional resources regarding EMDT technology as they become available.

Executive Brief Citations

  1. “Pepper Spray Evaluation Project: Results of the Introduction of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) into the Baltimore County Police Department”, IACP.
  2. “Advanced Taser M26 Field Analysis Report”, Taser International Study.
  3. “SPD Special Report: The M26 Year One Implementation,” Seattle, WA Police Department.
  4. “Report on Human Effectiveness and Risk Characterization of Incapacitation Devices,” Human Effects Center for Excellence (HECOE), U.S. Department of Defense.
  5. “Medical Implications of Less-Lethal Weapons,” Defense Science Advisory Council (DSAC) Subcommittee, Northern Ireland.
  6. “Evaluation of Taser Devices,” Police Scientific Development Branch, Home Office, United Kingdom.
  7. “2003 Uniform Crime Report,” Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice.
  8. “Taser Technology Review & Interim Recommendations,” Office of The Police Complaint Commissioner, British Columbia, Canada.
  9. NIJ - The Effectiveness and Safety of Pepper Spray.
  10. Seattle, WA Police Department Special Report - Use of Force

Additional Reference Material

  1. Purchase from IACP: Electronic Control Weapons Model Policy – Interim, IACP.
  2. Purchase from IACP: Electronic Control Weapons Concept and Issues Paper, IACP.
  3. Montgomery County, MD, Police Department Experience.
  4. Montgomery County, MD, Police Department Training Model.
  5. Montgomery County, MD, Police Department Use-Of-Force Model.
  6. “Efficacy and Safety of Electrical Stun Devices,” Potomac Institute For Policy Studies.
  7. "Use of Taser Weapons by Selected Law Enforcement Agencies," U.S. Government Accountability Office.
  8. "Review of Conducted Energy Devices," Canadian Police research Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Contacts: John Firman, Research Center Director or 800-843-4227 Ext. 207