Chicago Police Taser Use Increases Dramatically In A Year


Chicago police used Tasers to subdue nearly 700 offenders over 12 recent months, a dramatic increase that reflects the department’s decision to expand its use of the weapons, says the Chicago Tribune. The Independent Police Review Authority, which investigates serious accusations of police misconduct, said the increased use of the sometimes-controversial electrical devices has not generated many complaints.
The agency decided against investigating every time an officer uses a Taser, saying the hundreds of incidents were “overwhelming” its resources. Instead, it will do so only if allegations of misconduct are made, serious injury or death resulted, or a minor or senior citizen was targeted. Officers used Tasers on 683 occasions in the year ended Sept. 30, up sharply from 197 in 2009 and 163 in 2008. In March, the department more than doubled the number of available Tasers – to 660, up from 280 – and put them in the hands of patrol officers for the first time. Previously, only sergeants and field training officers were allowed to carry them, but now all squad cars and special-deployment teams are equipped with the weapons.

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