TALLINN – The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board has launched talks for the purchase of electroshock weapons or Tasers, the first police officers are to receive the weapons as part of their weaponry by summer.
The Police and Border Guard Board launched negotiations for the procurement of electroshock weapons with a company representing the producer Axon Public Safety, spokespeople for the Police and Border Guard Board told BNS. They said that due to the technical parameters of the electroshock weapons the police requires, it is at present possible to sign a tender agreement with only one bidder and this is why the public tender is carried out as an unannounced tendering procedure. An offer can be made until the end of January.
The volume of the first tender agreement is approximately 230,000 euros. In addition to weapons, the Police and Border Guard Board will also order holsters, batteries, shot sets for service and training and other necessary accessories. The exact amount of the weapons to be purchased will be determined after the end of the tendering procedure.
Hannes Haav, leading instructor of the special training unit of the Police and Border Guard Board, told BNS that according to the plan, rapid reaction patrol police officers will go through training on the use of the electroshock weapon by July 1 and after that approximately half of the patrols will be equipped with the weapons.
Haav said that according to the electroshock weapon standard set by the Police and Border Guard Board, the weapons must have two laser sights. The weapons to be procured are double shot, which means that two cartridges can be attached to them at once. Haav said that a double shot weapon is also better in a situation where one or both arrows of the first cartridge to not hit the attacker. Each shot made from the electroshock weapon will be automatically documented in the electronic log in the weapon, where the time and duration of the shots made will be recorded.
In addition, unlike other electroshock weapons, the weapons to be procured allow to conduct a spark test so that the cartridges have already installed in the weapon. This is a pre-shot warning, where the attacker sees the blue electrical spark of the weapon and has their last change to stop the attack, Haav said.
The purchase of electroshock weapons was already in the 2017 armament development plan and the introducing the weapons into use has been discussed for years.