Area police departments re-think, re-train taser use
SOUTH BELOIT, ILL. Although Tasers have proven to be effective tools in subduing unruly suspects, their use is relatively rare in small police departments.
South Beloit police, for example, have drawn a Taser only once since April, when officers began carrying them again regularly.
But it was one of those rare instances in 2008 that eventually led to a one-year suspension and re-evaluation of their use.
South Beloit joins other departments in Winnebago County that have taken a step back to re-evaluate their training and readiness.
Now, when Tasers are used, departments are making sure their officers have the latest training and certification.
The devices were temporarily shelved in South Beloit following a controversy over an arrest in which an officer used a Taser on a handcuffed woman in their custody.
The decision to take the Tasers off the streets took place during a tumultuous period that included the Winnebago County Sheriff’s office taking charge of the department while city officials searched for a new police chief.
After a video surfaced in 2011 of a South Beloit officer attempting to subdue a handcuffed suspect with a Taser, shot to the neck, a review of records by the sheriff's office was unable to locate any documents related to Taser training.
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