There has recently been a demand for the use of less than lethal weapons in the community, and country at large. To meet this demand, the Asheville Police Department will be adopting the use of Tasers. Though Tasers are potentially lethal, they can be used more safely that a handgun, yet are more incapacitating than chemical spray. The use of Tasers will be explained with training as technology and laws progress. The most important thing is that the use of Tasers always falls within the law. Any actions taken should be proportionate to the situation, and the use of force should be no more than what is absolutely necessary. Officers must be prepared to show that they acted reasonably and justly. They must stay within the boundaries of use of force, and take responsibility for their actions. Similarly, superiors must also show justification for any decision or action.
Tasers are a fairly new weapon and there are many misconceptions about their use. Therefore all officers will receive extensive training. In order to stay abreast of new developments in the law, an attorney will be consulted about any new developments that should be included in training. A specialist will also be hired to inform the department of new technological advances, and these will be taken into consideration during any training. Revised training will also be considered annually, based on the event of aforementioned new developments. Training will focus on dispelling myths about the use and effect of Tasers, communication with the community concerning their use, and their place in the force continuum.
3. Scope of Operation
Much dispute has arisen over the place of Tasers in the use of force continuum. Training will address this issue more thoroughly, but the policy of this department will be that Tasers fall into the category of impact weapons. They are to be considered possibly lethal, and fall between the category containing canines, chemical agents and batons, and the category of lethal force. They are to be used...