After using Taser guns eight times to subdue people last year, Lawrence police are seeking to expand their deployment of the weapons.
In a recently released report to city commissioners, Police Chief Ron Olin said a nine-month trial period with Tasers -- which deliver an electric jolt to bring down unruly people -- has been "very successful."
About 20 officers went through training to use Tasers - the department initially purchased 10 - but Olin is recommending more officers be certified to carry them.
In a supplement to the report, Sgt. Stephen Zarnowiec detailed the eight circumstances which prompted officers to use Tasers between March 25 and Dec. 31, 2008:
- April 19: A Taser was deployed at The Ranch, 2515 W. Sixth, to break up a beating.
- April 19 : An officer used a Taser on a fleeing suspect who was resisting arrest along Kansas Highway 10.
- June 1: A Taser was used against a man who was attacking an officer outside Club Axis, 821 Iowa.
- June 18: A Taser was used to control an intoxicated person who was resisting arrest in the 2300 block of Belle Crest Drive, near 25th and Alabama streets.
- July 12: An officer used a Taser to break up a fight near 14th and Ohio.
- July 20: An officer used a Taser on a suspect who wasn't complying with orders at a home near 28th Street and Kasold Drive.
- Aug. 30: An officer used a Taser on a man who was pushing and spitting at an officer and not complying with orders near Ninth and Massachusetts streets.
- Sept. 21: An officer used his Taser three times on a man who was resisting arrest during an out-of-control party at a home in the 1200 block of Ohio Street.
"All of these Taser uses were the result of officers lawfully intervening in physical violence against another member of the public or police officer," Zarnowiec said in his Taser usage report.
Of the people who were tased, all were men, seven were between the ages of 19 and 25, and one was 53, said Scott Miller, staff attorney.
Miller said the city's received no complaints as a result of Taser use.
Each time a Taser is used, a mandatory internal review takes place, a procedure that would continue under Olin's recommendation to expand Taser deployment, which will be reviewed by city commissioners during their meeting at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.
In his memo, the police chief said he’d like to have additional officers trained on the weapons. The memo does not say whether the chief would like to purchase additional Tasers for the department.
Police spokesman Sgt. Bill Cory said Monday that it would be “inappropriate” to discuss the department’s request before it is presented to commissioners.