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Police use of Tasers

There has been a ton of discussion regarding tasers.  Most of it from individuals uniformed about their proper use or where they should fall in the use of force by police officers.

Police departments generally, train their officers to follow a “use of force continuum.”  This “continuum” informs the officers what level of force he/she can use in response to the level of resistance the officer is facing from a perpetrator. 

Proper training can fix the improper use of tasers.  This type of tool should fall into the category of “intermediate weapons” in the use of force continuum.  Intermediate weapons are described as a baton, flashlight and K9.  There are more depending on the equipment of the officer.  Intermediate weapons can be created on the fly by the officer.  For example, picking up a tree limb or other similar object.

Every officer trained on the force continuum knows exactly what type of situation he/she is allowed to use the tools that fall into this category.  Proper training will allow tasers to be plugged into this level of force. Not wanting to give away trade secrets, I will not post the force continuum.   You can find it yourself if you look hard enough.

Statements like “tasers should  be banned” are about as silly as saying “cops should not have cars to drive in.”  Do not blame the tool, blame the lack of proper training, blame the unprofessional police officers using it.  Proper training with proper supervision will deal with those who misuse this tool.

This police officer was suspended for 3 days.  I believe he probably needs training on conducting traffic stops.  Notice how he places himself at a tactical disadvantage by standing between traffic and the driver.  If this driver was intent on causing harm or killing the officer, a gentle nudge into the fast lane was possible.   This officer escalated up the force continuum without the proper level of resistance from the suspect.

Temporary Suspension Letter

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.statesman.com posted with vodpod


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