Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Taser

Officers typically train with their Taser at some initial class and then never train with it again.  Some agencies have obtained the targets to practice with the Taser and train with it at least occasionally.  I think that every time officers go to the range they should train with their baton, Taser, OC and firearm. 

These are all perishable skills and need to be kept up.  We train with our firearms because the liability of making a mistake or missing is huge and could mean an officer gets killed.  We should train with these other weapons frequently for the same reasons.  An officer who relies on his gun might wait too long to use force and might be forced to kill a suspect.  An officer who is quick with the Taser or OC spray or baton might use force much sooner, and even more often, but is far less likely to kill anyone.

The FBI places the use of the Taser very low on the use of force scale.  I think officers need to be trained to use it frequently to avoid having to escalate incidents into deadly force incidents.  I think more research needs to be made to permit the Taser to fire multiple times, and at a greater range.  All of these might create more use of force incidents, but a lower level of force overall, that's what the SGT Says.

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