Top law enforcement officials from all over
the Tri-state came together Tuesday to talk Tasers. For the first time ever,
the stun gun manufacturer hosted a special seminar in the Queen City.
In October, Cincinnati attorney Al
Gerhardstein reviewed the Taser policies of dozens of local police agencies and
found many of them were not following best practices. After that, the
Cincinnati Police Department reached out to Taser to have them come to town.
say there were so many responses from Tri-state departments they had to turn
very important to hear legal issues and risk management issues about deploying
this kind of device," explained Captain Doug Wiesman.
is in charge of training for the Cincinnati Police Department which updated its
Taser police in the early fall of 2012.
are completely aligned with what the best practices are in the country right
now," Wiesman said following the morning presentations.
no uniform Taser policy in place across departments and controversial Tri-state
Taser related deaths like the passing of Everette Howard who died after being
tased on UC's campus, many recognize the need for agencies to get on the same
always ways to do things better and a lot of times unfortunately we find out
how to do things better through an incident, but it's ongoing," Delhi Police
Chief Jim Howarth said.
says his department revised their Taser policy following the report released in
made some subtle changes because we feel like there are some good points in
there and we were able to improve on our policy," he said.
says one of the changes included not throwing away the Taser cartridges even if
the encounter occurred without incident.
things happen unfortunately there's no explanation for them, but I will tell
you that there's not a better system out there," argued former Cincinnati
Police Chief Tom Streicher. "If this is the best system that's out there then what
we need to do is to continuously study and evaluate the application of the
system and take what we learn from those evaluations and apply it to future
spoke out on behalf of new Taser technology the department helped develop
through a pilot program a few years back that puts cameras on cops. Streicher
believes the new Taser camera technology is the future of law enforcement.
technology, it's going to take an investment on the front end of it, but on the
back end of that its ultimately going to save the city money," he argued.
cameras cost roughly $900 dollars each and have been adopted by a number of
smaller to medium sized departments across the U.S.
you tie Tasers together with video you can not only increase safety of the
individual incident but we can reduce a lot of the conflict between police and
the communities they serve," Taser CEO Rick Smith said.
referenced a university study that showed when police wear cameras it almost
eliminates complaints and reduces incidents of violent resistance. He says
while interest in the new technology is high, budgets are low. In the meantime,
many departments are focusing on using the technology they already have as
safely as possible.
[police] do is low risk. They are going into the situations when everyone else
is running out but it's about balancing and trying to minimize that risk,"
Smith said. "The truth about Tasers is they dramatically reduce the risk of
injury in any community that's deployed them."
Hamilton County Association of Chiefs of Police reviewed the October report and
has formed a committee to look at electronic control devices.