Chicago Cops to Get a Taser in Every Squad

Weapons provide another option other than deadly force, Police Supt. Jody Weis says

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    Every Chicago Police Department squad car will soon be equipped with a Taser.

    Every Chicago Police Department squad car will soon be equipped with a Taser.

    That announcement Wednesday came as top police officials said they need the option of using Tasers to subdue uncooperative suspects as an alternative to their guns and batons.

    Weis Explains Desire for Taser Expansion

    [CHI] Weis Explains Desire for Taser Expansion
    Chicago police Supt. Jody Weis says having a Taser in every beat car would give officers the option to use something other than lethal force during a hot situation. (Published Thursday, March 11, 2010)

    "Tasers offer another option, and if you can bring another option before you get to that level where deadly force might be necessary, I think it's a good thing," Weis said during a Wednesday afternoon press conference on diversity initiatives in the department.

    He said that sergeants and Field Training Officers previously had to be called to bring and use a Taser, but said that sometimes "situations are breaking so fast, you don't have an opportunity to wait."

    Roughly 3,000 officers will be trained to use the 380 Tasers that will be installed in cars to be used by beat cops and tactical units.

    The announcement came just hours after the death of a man in the suburbs after he was Tasered by police.

    Jaesun Ingles, 31, of Riverdale, died after he was Tasered by Midlothian police outside a Dunkin’ Donuts in the south suburb early Wednesday morning. Ingles was pronounced dead at 12:31 a.m. at MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island, the Cook County medical examiner's office said.

    But Chicago police Sgt. Mike Partipilo -- who’ll train other Chicago officers how to use the Tasers -- defended the plan to expand Taser use in the city.

    "We’ve done a lot of homework on this," Partipilo said. "This is a very effective tool."

    Tasers are made by a company called Taser International based out of Scottsdale, Arizona.