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Cary police to get TASERs

Published: Monday, June 9, 2014 12:32 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, June 9, 2014 11:56 p.m. CDT

CARY – Police officers in the village will soon be carrying Tasers.

The village's police department plans to equip officers with the electronic control weapons. Adding the additional level of use of force is set to cost the village about $10,750, according to Police Chief Patrick Finlon.

After training, the department will have seven units. The costs also include the battery packs, holsters and data packs, among other things.

According to a Cary Police Department survey, officers in Algonquin, Fox River Grove, Crystal Lake and McHenry have Tasers.

"The use of [electronic control weapons] has become an industry standard and with a properly developed policy and training in the area of tactics, court decisions and policy, the introduction of ECWs can reduce the possibility of injury to both law enforcement and offenders and thereby reduce exposure to the municipality," Finlon wrote in a village memo.

Finlon added the department chose to go with Tasers because the weapons are effective and other agencies use them.

"TASER definitely has the lion['s] share of the market," Finlon said.

Finlon said he expects to have officers equipped with Tasers within 30 to 45 days. Training for officers will include how to use the weapon, when to use the weapon, and a review of case law and state law.

Finlon added that officers also will discuss how to treat people who have had a Taser used on them.

When officers use a Taser on a subject, two barbs are shot from a cartridge and an electrical charge is transmitted down wires to incapacitate the subject, Finlon said. The barbs are embedded in the skin and can be taken out.

If there are any lingering effects, officers would call for medical treatment, Finlon said.

Whenever an officer in the department uses force above hands-on, the officer already is required to submit a "use of force" report, which is reviewed by police administration.

"Those processes are in place to ensure the tool is used correctly," Finlon said. Finlon said having the option of using a Taser would be an alternative to officers using deadly force.

"This would be another force option designed to assist the police officers being able to perform their job safely," Finlon said.

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