The NYPD wants to expand its arsenal of TASERs to give officers more nonlethal alternatives to their service weapons when dealing with criminals and mentally disturbed individuals, reports the New York Post.
The city is contracting to spend up to $4.5 million on the weapons — and the department has already begun training officers how to use the devices, an NYPD spokesman confirmed.
Currently only patrol sergeants and members of the elite Emergency Service Unit are qualified to use the stun guns, which use a pulse of electricity to subdue individuals.
"The patrol sergeant supervisors have been trained on them. We're going to expand that. We're going to try to get all supervisors on patrol to get Tasers," the spokesman said.
Field training officers will also be taught how to use them. "They're more seasoned, more experienced," he said. "If you have a situation where a sergeant may not be able to go there, we want additional qualified people with TASERs."
Training has been under way in the last month. As many as 1,000 officers will receive new training in future months, sources say.