More news coming out of the Austin.
Legislator Coleman introduced House Bill 1304, which institutes a moratorium on Taser purchases and use during calendar year 2008.
With the current number of Taser related incidents that have happened around the state, it might sound like a good idea. In fact, it, like the Houston Police Department’s chase policy will limit the options that are available to those who have sworn to protect and serve the public.
I agree that possibly the state should propose a standardized training requirement, along with specific “recertification” intervals. Right now, each department has their own set of requirements, and I think those inconsistencies are part of the problem.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, the requirement to be shocked by the device is optional in some departments training, while others, including Houston Police Department, doesn’t even include that option. To me, the standardized training should include exactly that, a requirement to receive a shock from the device that they are going to use. This is just like an officer at the academy being able to participate in hand to hand combat to understand taking control of a situation, to safely handling the police car in special cases such as pursuits.
So, Austin, tell the cops how they have to be trained to use it, but don’t stop them from using a taser. Otherwise the officer might have to resort to a stronger, more deadly force to stop a suspect.
And that’s not good for anyone.