MPD Reviews Taser Policy

The incident at Memorial High School in January put the spotlight on police taser policy in Madison.

Tuesday morning, officers met behind closed doors to discuss when they should be allowed to use a taser, by reviewing policy, procedures and training.

Madison Police Chief Noble Wray says, "It served also as a way for us to look internally and do a check, which we're doing, and I think it's been very beneficial."

Chief Wray wouldn't say what they decided, but did say they may make adjustments to where the taser falls on their use of force continuum.

Taser use is reviewed on an ongoing basis, although Wray maintains it is a valuable policing tool.

"It allows for us to police in a more humane way," he says, "Clearly we believe our in use we've been able to save 6 lives since instituting tasers here."

Other agencies agree. Monday night officers from the Town of Madison Police Department touted tasers in a report to their town board.

"They're happy with the results," says Town of Madison Police Chief Scott Gregory, "Because in my opinion the taser has saved the town tens of thousands of dollars in just our first [year of] use."

For them, the taser falls in line with pepper spray. Chief Gregory says they were used on 16 people last year and prevented the use of deadly force.

One incident sticks out in his mind.

"They [officers] were in the kitchen. She [a suspect] had set a butcher knife down, picked it up again and started coming towards officers and they were backed up against the wall and had no place to go."

That's why he says the taser, while controversial, is invaluable.

Chief Wray says he will release the results of their internal review by next week.

The state is planning a public hearing on taser use March 29.

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