BERKELEY (KCBS)— The Berkeley Police Officers Association is releasing an online citizen’s survey on the use of Tasers and would like the city to explore arming the police force with the devices.
The Berkeley Police Department is one of just a few in the Bay Area not arming its officers with stun-gun devices commonly called Tasers.
Sgt. Chris Stines, who heads the Berkeley Police Officers Association, said the survey’s results make it clear that the people of Berkeley want their cops to have a less lethal weapon on their utility belts.
“Berkeley residents overwhelmingly support our looking at Tasers, with 83 percent of citizens surveyed (responding) that they support investigating the use of Tasers to deter and control violent individuals,” Stines explained.
Sgt. Emily Murphy said, of 113 police agencies in the Bay Area, three (Alameda, Berkeley and San Francisco) either don’t use Tasers or aren’t even studying them.
“Why does almost every other Bay Area police agency have Tasers? Because it is well documented locally and throughout the United States that Tasers save lives and reduce injuries caused by physical force and firearm use,” Murphy said.
The police officers association plan to use the survey to push the city council and police chief to study Tasers in their city.
In San Francisco Tasers have been a point of contention for Chief of Police Greg Suhr.
(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)