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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Despite Concerns Local police departments look to increase use of Taser

While the investigation continues into the death of drug suspect Tony Curtis Bradway hours after Town of Southampton police shocked him with a Taser, Long Island and the New York Police Department are following a national trend that could one day make the electric weapon as common as the baton.

The Suffolk police department plans to add 250 Tasers in the coming months to its current level of 91. Nassau County restricts its use to fewer than 30 police personnel. The New York Police Department yesterday expanded its Taser program following recommendations in a Rand Corp. report on the Sean Bell shooting released this week.

More than 12,000 agencies in the U.S. now employ the weapon, according to the manufacturer of the most popular of the devices.

"Eventually, everyone in patrol will have one," said Suffolk police commissioner Richard Dormer. [Mark Godsey]

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