SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Despite public opposition, the San Francisco Police Department is considering adopting Tasers, and a police commander Friday noted that a city budget analyst has pegged the cost at around $8 million.
Cmdr. Pete Walsh took questions Friday afternoon from reporters about the proposed Tasers, in advance of a public meeting to be held later Friday evening on the issue.
“(San Francisco Police Chief William Scott) states in coming from the Los Angeles Police Department that CEDs can be an effective use of force in situations that warrant intermediate use of force,” Walsh said during the news conference.
CED is the acronym for Conducted Energy Devices, the technical term for Tasers. The LAPD uses Tasers, as do the police departments of most major cities in the United States, including Richmond and Oakland.
“We are one of two major cities that don’t have CEDs,” Walsh said. The other city is Boston.
The police commander said that Axon – the new name of the company formerly named “Taser” – makes a holster that activates the officer’s body camera when the Taser is pulled out of the holster. He was responding to a reporter’s question about what safeguards exist to make sure Tasers aren’t misused.
Asked about the cost, Walsh said, “We have not nailed down a firm cost. The only cost analysis I have seen from beginning to end – and we do have some disagreements – is the budget analysis from the Board of Supervisors,” at around $8 million.
“We believe it’s lower,” Walsh said.
A reporter asked how the Police Department plans to get past the fact that 87 percent of the people who attended two public meetings the department hosted in September on the subject opposed the idea.
Walsh said in response, “They (meeting attendees) are intelligent and organized and they have read a lot of literature. Their opposition is not as well-grounded when it comes to statistics.”
The commander added, “The breadth of surveys show it reduces injuries to suspects and officers.”
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