I was reading the story about Pearland Police Officers receiving their Taser training when a important note about Houston’s Taser Training came to light:
Being shocked is not required in every department.
Houston Police Department officers do not get shocked during Taser training, but deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department have the option during their training. Deputies are not required to participate, Lt. John Martin said.
Yes, you read that right. Houston does not actually have each officer stand on the receiving end of their Taser when being trained.
If you search any of the online video sites for “Taser” (Not linked since most have language not suitable for minors) you will find many videos of officers taking one.
While I, personally have no desire to be a living target for one of these, I certainly understand why many agencies would expect their officers to understand the power and capabilities of the device. It makes the officer think when acting, since they know exactly what the person that’s at the other end of those barbs is feeling. It also makes them think to release the trigger before more harm is done.
That, in itself is exactly why it should be done. The fatalities and lawsuits that are appearing more and more frequently here in Houston says that the already overworked officers are quick to deploy, and quick to use the taser, but don’t know when to stop.
I believe it’s time that HPD require mandatory refresher training, and every officer is certified only after taking the juice.
KHOU is reporting that the city controller is now reviewing the HPD Taser policy. Watch this space for further updates.