SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A handful of San Francisco police chiefs have tried without success to bring tasers into the hands of officers.
Now, San Francisco’s new chief is making his push.
On Wednesday night, the chief made his presentation before the police commission.
The Taser X2 and the Taser X26P are devices San Francisco’s police chief wants his officers to have as a less lethal option, something between a baton and a firearm.
The department says it fits in perfectly with its policy of de-escalation and time and distance.
“The taser gives us a little bit more time and distance, and if you look at the studies, it reduces the injuries to the person we have to use it against, and it also helps the officers not sustain injuries,” San Francisco police Cmdr. Peter Walsh said.
In fact, in its review of the San Francisco Police Department, the United States Department of Justice recommended the city “should strongly consider” deploying tasers.
“This could potentially save hundreds of thousands of lives based on all these calls for service that we go on,” said Sean Perdomo, who is with the San Francisco Police Officers Association.
The SFPOA has been a long-time supporter of the devices but opposition remains.
“We’re the only major city without tasers, and we think it should remain that way,” San Franciscans for Police Accountability member Karen Fleshman said. “To equip all of those folks with tasers before there is a significant change in the culture of the department, we think is a change in the wrong direction. We want to pursue de-escalation much further and test that out.”
Policies for taser use and training are now being discussed, and public hearings will be held, but ultimately, it will be up to the San Francisco Police Commission to decide.
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