Glendale police will soon receive new Tasers with the added capability to record more information about incidents when deployed.
The new digital Tasers will replace 150 outdated analog models, and track any calibrations, self-tests, deployment, amount of time they were used and volt output, according to Glendale Police Capt. Todd Stokes.
“Having a less-lethal option on their person is definitely a benefit to the officer and to the public,” he said.
The new Tasers, he said, will let police management better regulate and monitor their use, and officials can view a log when a Taser has been used.
Electronic failures were spotted on some of the current devices, according to a city report.
The ability to analyze information after a deployment was interrupted sometimes due to issues with the devices’ internal clocks.
According to a city report, “failures such as this create mistrust of the device and may increase potential liability should an incident involving use of the device be subject to a legal challenge.”
Last year, Glendale resident Banyamin Keshishian filed a lawsuit alleging excessive force by a local police officer who reportedly used a Taser on him after he was stopped for speeding.
He claimed the officer used a Taser twice on him while he was seated in the driver’s seat of his vehicle. Keshishian alleged the incident sent him to the hospital. A resisting-arrest charge against him was reportedly dropped before it went to court, which Keshishian’s attorney, Mark Geragos, said was the department’s attempt to “cover their tracks.”
At the time, City Atty. Michael Garcia said the city would “vigorously defend the case.”
Tasers are currently used by all field officers as well as those who are working on special enforcement operations.
The new Tasers will cost a total of $182,124, but will not require the purchase of new holsters and can still operate with the Police Department’s current cache of cartridges, valued at $12,500.
In 2012, police deployed a Taser 12 times, which rose from seven incidents in 2011, according to the Police Department’s latest statistics on use of force.