Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Saturday, Aug 9, 2008
The president of a school safety consulting firm said districts like Uniontown Area, which is considering arming its police officers with Tasers, have to take a conservative approach to their deployment and develop a comprehensive policy.
But an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union said it’s hard for him even to see a need for Tasers in a school setting.
Uniontown school officials intend to draft a Taser policy for their school police officers that might be discussed as soon as the school board’s Aug. 18 meeting and could be considered for adoption next month.
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The school’s director of security says giving the district’s three officers the option of using a Taser is more about providing the safest possible conditions for children, staff and visitors than as a weapon “directed at the students.”
Concerned parents and residents questioned the necessity of the devices at a public meeting Wednesday night, but a Cleveland consultant said in an interview Thursday that a Taser can be a “useful extra tool” for authorities as an alternative to a firearm in gaining control in a tense situation.
Ken Trump, a former school security director who heads National School Safety and Security Services, said a device like a Taser — which delivers a powerful electric shock to incapacitate a person — potentially can be helpful if an adult non-student intruder threatens harm to himself or others.
This article was posted: Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 4:17 am