Cincinnati Police update Taser use policy - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Cincinnati Police update Taser use policy

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Cincinnati Police have updated their Use of Force Policy specifically focusing on the deployment of Tasers.  

In a memo to the Mayor and City Council members, City Manager Milton Dohoney states the City's Law Department has reviewed the Use of Force Policy and CPD has included some revisions.  

The memo states that the review came about after concerns were raised about the whether the Taser has caused death in "certain rare situations." It references reports that indicate a Taser barb in the chest region coupled with other factors could cause "sudden cardiac arrest and/or death." 

While the memo recognizes reports of such instances are rare, the City's police department has updated its policy in an attempt to minimize unnecessary harm.  

The Police Department's goal in the revision is to "reduce the number of secondary injuries resulting from Taser deployments." 

Here are the changes laid out in the memo:

  •  The department policy cites the suspect's back as the "preferred target area for the device" on an individual "actively resisting arrest". It prohibits frontal shots except when used in self defense or to protect someone else. The policy clearly states officers should not aim the Taser at an individual's head, neck, eyes, throat, chest/breast, or genitals.
  • The revised policy lays out the factors officers must weigh before deploying a Taser:
  1. The severity of the crime
  2. Whether the suspect poses an immediate safety threat
  3. Whether the suspect is actively resisting arrest or attempting to avoid arrest by fleeing the area

To avoid "secondary injuries" that can result from falling after being tased, the policy also emphasizes the need to consider "environmental conditions" before using the Taser.

While revisions to the Use of Force Policy have been made, CPD maintains, "The Taser remains an important and beneficial tool in the police profession. The Taser allows arresting officers to keep distance between themselves and suspects, which reduces the need to resort to lethal force options. Moreover, significant reduction of injuries to officers and suspects has been documented since introduction of the Taser."

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