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Calif. Bay Area PD to Mandate Carrying Tasers

April 02, 2004  | 

The San Jose (Calif.) Police Department is expected to receive a shipment of 629 Tasers on Monday, enough to equip all officers on the force.

Officers are expected to carry Tasers at all times beginning in May, after receiving training in the use of the devices.

When San Jose police killed a mentally disturbed woman holding a vegetable peeler eight months ago, there was a public outcry for change in policy. At the time, the department was unsure about requiring its officers to carry Tasers.

After consulting with other California departments that now holster them as daily duty gear, San Jose PD has decided to equip all its officers with Tasers.

The department now owns and uses older models of Tasers, but there are only enough for every 16 officers or so. This means an officer wishing to use one must follow a procedure to get one to his location before being able to deploy it.

As the department readies itself to man each of its officers with a Taser, it’s reevaluating its policies for when to use them, according to Lt. David Babineau, the department’s training manager. He says 70 percent of officers have already completed their training.

The San Jose Police Department purchased its new Tasers and accessories using federal and state grants.

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