Jersey Lawmen Get The Go-Ahead To Use Stun-Guns [AUDIO]
Jersey is the last state in the nation that doesn't allow police departments to use stun guns.
The rule, however, is about to change.
A new policy - approved by the state Attorney General's office - will permit the use of stun guns - in situations when an officer is trying to prevent a suspect from using deadly force against the officer, another person or themselves.
Lacey Township Police Chief Bill Nally, the President, of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, says "it's just another instrument for law enforcement to consider - New Jersey is the last state to approve using stun guns -but the policy is quite restrictive…it's a complicated decision that each community and police Chief is going to have to make - whether to consider using it and bringing it in as part of their weapon systems."
He says the stun gun has been shown to be "quite effective throughout the United States, it's been proven to reduce injuries and individuals who are arrested…a number of factors will have to be considered when a police department decides whether or not to use stun guns - the makeup of the community, the types and volumes of crimes encountered, there are training costs to be considered, equipment costs - tasers are probably about 25 hundred dollars a piece."
The Chief points out the policy that's being adopted in Jersey calls for video recording whenever a stun gun is used - and every incident would have to be reviewed by the Prosecutors office - so a lot of safeguards have been built into the policy put forth by the Attorney General.
Toms River Police Chief Michael G. Mastronardy says "tasers have been shown to be effective - we believe they'll be an asset to our department and other departments in the area…this is not just strictly for the police officers but it's for the whole public including the suspect… believe there is a possibility that just like pepper spray, it will be quite prevalent throughout the law enforcement community."
He adds "I believe the taser will make officers safe - make the public safe and result in less incidents where unfortunately lethal force is necessary to neutralize someone."