I have no specific bias for or against the use of these weapons. I did not have the privilege of being trained to use one when I was an officer, so I do not speak from experience as a certified user. I do find their mechanism of action intriguing. I also find the concept of being able to disable a combatant humanely and temporarily as a great alternative to the use of OC spray, with its associated risks and unpleasant after-effects to both suspects and officers. However, despite its utility, if a CEW contributes to a police officer's death in even one incident, officers need to rethink its use.
A recent study by Jared Strote, MD and his colleagues examined the use of the CEW and the injuries it caused to suspects in the article Conducted Electrical Weapon Use by Law Enforcement: An Evaluation of Safety and Injury (2010). The subjects who were given the CEW were very often substance-impaired (70%) and/or had psychiatric issues (46%). Not surprisingly, these are also characteristics of many cop-killers and others who fight police.