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Plan to put Tasers in Uniontown schools gets mixed reviews

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Chris Foreman
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.

(Article continues below)

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.

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This article was posted: Saturday, August 9, 2008 at 4:17 am

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