Mesa could arm detectives with Tasers - East Valley Tribune: News

Mesa could arm detectives with Tasers

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Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2008 10:41 pm | Updated: 10:00 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Mesa City Council is scheduled to decide Tuesday if police can spend nearly $163,000 to buy more than 150 Tasers for plainclothes detectives.

Officials said the Tasers would not cost the taxpayers because they'd be bought with asset forfeiture funds - money the city has obtained through assets seized from people committing crimes.

Mesa police Cmdr. Mike Denney said the additional Tasers are important because the weapons reduce the likelihood police officers and suspects would be seriously injured during arrests.

"We want to make sure that we don't necessarily injure the suspects that we come into contact with and that our officers don't get injured," Denney said.

He said "hands-on contact" creates the greatest number of injuries to both parties.

If the council approves the contract, the police department would purchase the 165 Taser Model X26E Devices and Accessories through a state contract with ProForce Law Enforcement.

The Tasers would go to detectives in the street crimes, major felony, intelligence and narcotics units as well as task force detectives.

"It's a tool for them just like it is for the patrol officers," Denney said.

In October 2005, the council approved purchasing Tasers for all patrol officers, but that contract didn't extend to detectives.

Denney said the fact that plainclothes detectives don't have Tasers has been an ongoing issue and concern.

"The officers want to make sure they don't go out on the street with less than optimal equipment," Denney said.

In Tempe, every sworn officer below the rank of commander has a Taser and the same is true in Chandler.

In Scottsdale, any sworn personnel trained to use Tasers may use them and in Gilbert, plainclothes officers carry Tasers in certain situations.

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