In a Sept. 5, 2023 news release, the Bloomington police department (BPD) announced that officers would soon be piloting the use of electronic control weapons, commonly known as tasers.
For Bloomington police officers, the tasers will be added to pepper spray and collapsible batons as options that are less lethal than a gun.
On Sept. 19, at the most recent meeting of Bloomington’s five-member board of public safety, BPD deputy chief Scott Oldham said that he does not expect the tasers to be deployed for the pilot before the start of 2024. It will take some time for an officer to be certified to train other officers in the use of tasers, and then additional time to train officers, Oldham said.
While the board of public safety was briefed on the decision to add tasers to the set of less lethal options for BPD officers, the board did not have decision making authority on deployment of tasers.
Tasers were discussed with the board at its June and July monthly meetings this year.
But the board’s feedback can be traced to a year before that, when board member Isak Asare asked Bloomington police chief Mike Diekhoff about the department’s planned pilot program. Continue reading “Tasers for Bloomington police: Department prepares for pilot program on less lethal weapon”