(2018-02-03) NEW YORK: Buffalo police considering tasers for officers [[rollout]]

Published on February 3 2018 by admin


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo police could be getting a new tool — tasers. The department says it’s the very early stages of researching the devices. Captain Jeff Rinaldo says the SWAT team is the only part of the department that has and uses tasers.

This isn’t the first-time Buffalo police has considered getting tasers. Captain Jeff Rinaldo says he researched the tool for the department 5 years ago.

“At the time Commissioner Derenda was not overly comfortable with it and it was his decision to only make a small purchase of the weapons to be utilized by our SWAT team,” said Capt. Jeff Rinaldo.

“We have a number of less lethal weapons that our officers carry everything from batons, to pepper spray to training in the academy with defensive tactics,” said Rinaldo.

Earlier this week, the State Attorney General’s Office suggested BPD get tasers following the investigation into the shooting death of Jose Hernandez-Rossy. The 26-year-old was unarmed and shot during a struggle with officers.

“In the most recent case I don’t think it would’ve made much difference,” said Tom Burton with the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association

Tom Burton is the attorney for BPA and he says he’s pushed for officers to have tasers for years.

“These things should be available on the street to regular uniform officers that need them. They’re not the end all but in some circumstances, they’re certainly a better alternative than using a hand gun,” said Burton.

Now Rinaldo says he’s looking into tasers for the department at the request of interim Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood. They can cost anywhere from $800 to $1,500 dollars — each.

Rinaldo says the technology has changed, some tasers now have cameras and even laser pointers.

“Hopefully it will bring a level of deterrence that the officers wouldn’t necessarily have to actually deploy the weapon, the mere presence of it would hopefully get the combative suspect to comply with a request,” said Rinaldo.

Rinaldo says this is still very early in the process and he will soon take his research to Commissioner Lockwood. He says there are many people in the department that are certified taser users and instructors. But if officers get tasers, it will require additional training.

Buffalo police considering tasers for officers




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