Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said that within the next three to five months, 600-700 tasers will be purchased and given to first-response police officers.
Griffith said when he was appointed COP he was not given a budget since he was appointed after the national budget was read. As such, he was only able to purchase 100 tasers for his officers. He said those who will be given tasers have been trained to use the device. He added that police could have used tasers since 2007, adding that former COP’s did not do their homework and due diligence in arming police officers with the device.
He said tasers will help to minimize the use of force, adding that tasers have been instrumental in the reduction of persons being killed by officers. He said tasers fall within a step-by-step approach to subdue a aggressive or unruly persons which includes:
- Verbal persuasion
- Radio for backup
- Pepper spray
- Rubber bullets
He said firearms should always be a police officer’s last line of defence. But he warned that he will not allow any citizen to prevent his police officers from completing their duty, adding that tasers and pepper sprays will be used by his officers where necessary.