Dayton police could get Tasers, council says

Dayton police could get Tasers, council says

December 7th, 2011 by Tom Davis in News

Chris Sneed is the Dayton, Tenn., Police Chief

Photo by Dick Cook

POLL: Should Dayton police carry Tasers?

DAYTON, Tenn. -- Dayton police could be armed with Tasers if suitable devices can be located and appropriate policies provided for their use, the Dayton City Council agreed this week.

Tennessee Assistant District Attorney General Will Dunn, who is a resident of Dayton, recommended the city buy the electroshock weapons for use when firearms are not appropriate.

Dunn said his motivation is to see "these police officers, my friends" equipped to defend themselves without having to use lethal force. At the same time, he said, aggressive people confronting police often will cease resisting when they see a Taser displayed.

Police Chief Chris Sneed said initially he did not favor securing Tasers for his department, but after researching the matter he'd "like to see us get some. If we could get three it would be great."

City Attorney Susan Arnold cautioned that the city must have policies in place and that officers must be trained in Taser use to avoid liability issues.

Council members instructed the chief to investigate funding for the devices, which he estimated would cost $850 each, and to work with Arnold to develop appropriate policies.

In other matters, City Manager Frank Welch reported that the new water tanks for Frazier and Sandy Flats communities have been completed and are ready to be put into service. The council also approved buying property on Dayton Mountain to add a water storage tank to improve service in that area.

Meeting earlier as the Dayton City School Board, members approved a contract with Metro Nashville Public Schools to provide Internet connectivity and handle paperwork for federal funds for Internet service for the school.

Tom Davis is based in Dayton. Email him at tsdavis@volstate.net.