The City of Solon’s Police Department is augmenting its supply of Tasers.
Police Chief Richard A. Tonelli told City Council’s Safety and Public Properties Committee last week that the department currently has 11 Tasers available for use by on-duty police officers.
Due to annual ceremonies and events that require the presence of a large number of officers for security measures, they need to add to their supply.
The committee approved the purchase of 15 more at a cost of just over $21,000.
Solon’s officers have been using Tasers since late 2018.
Chief Tonelli said they are a common piece of equipment for most police departments, although not every agency utilizes them.
“Tasers are not to be used against individuals who are simply refusing to comply with orders without physical resistance if they are not armed,” Chief Tonelli explained. Nor will they be used against fleeing individuals who do not pose an imminent threat of danger to officers or others, he noted.
“Sworn officers are issued a copy of our Use of Force Policy at the time of hire,” he said.
Additionally, sworn officers receive in-service training in the use of force, the use of deadly force, and the Department’s Use of Force policy on an annual basis. This training may be included in other annualized training, such as active shooter or active critical incident, or defensive tactic trainings.
In terms of when Tasers can be used, officers adhere to the Departmental Action-Response Use of Force Continuum Policy, Chief Tonelli said. This policy provides officers with a list of responses based on the amount of resistance encountered
The officer is trained to choose the necessary response to gain control of the situation based on departmental policy, his or her physical capabilities, perception, training and experience, he said.
A Taser is a device that uses electricity to impair voluntary motor responses or to cause discomfort to gain compliance, overcome resistance, or capture, control and facilitate constraint.
“It has proven to be effective to this end,” he said.
Currently, it is not a mandatory carry. The Solon department is comprised of 47 sworn officers.