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Weston Selectmen Deny Taser Appropriation

The Weston Police Department is not hoping to raise about $11,000 to arm all officers with Tasers.

 

Earlier this summer, . What makes this incident even more uncommon .

Citing this incident—and the fact that use of a Taser would give police officers yet another line of defense before using deadly force—Police Chief John Troxell asked the Board of Selectmen for a supplemental appropriation of $11,041 to purchase enough Tasers to arm his officers.

While First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said she "absolutely be able to consider and advocate [for the Tasers] as a capital request," she felt as though Troxell's request "doesn't rise to the level of supplemental appropriation."

The Weston Police Commission . 

"You had a budget cycle if you felt it was that important," Weinstein said. "To me, it's a question of timing."

Police Commissioner Beth Gralnick told the selectmen that given the current economic climate and budget constraints, they decided not to pursue the acquistion of Tasers in the previous budget request. 

"The reason we bring it up now is because of this incident," Gralnick said, referring to event which occurred earlier this summer.

"I see this to be an isolated incident," Weinstein said. "I don't want to be reactionary."

Troxell said he had originally wished to raise funds for the Tasers privately, but the incident earlier this summer raised some urgency. The department currently has three Tasers in their arsenal, Troxell said.

Selectman Dennis Tracey wondered why officers couldn't share those three devices. 

"Every piece of equipment is issued to an officer—it is their responsibility" to make sure their weapons are working right, Troxell said. Officers know everything they carry on their belt, he said, and if they were unfamiliar with something they carried, even a few extra seconds of having to make a decision that would normally be a memory reflex could make a big difference. 

Sergeant Pat Daubert said that neighboring police departments all have Tasers and have come in to Weston to help out Weston officers. He also said the incident earlier this summer isn't the only time when a situation has taken a turn for the worse. 

"I need to be properly equipped and trained for the job," he said. "If you don’t buy me [a Taser] soon, I’m going to spend my own money, and with the permission of the chief, I’d like to carry it."

Daubert said he needs equipment which will "put me in a better position so I can go home to my family safely." 

Selectman David Muller said he wouldn't be surprised if more donations came in after the department's need was publicized.

"It’s not a lot of money, but on the other hand, we’ve had lengthy discussions about much smaller amounts of money," he said.

Muller echoed Weinstein's sentiments about perhaps being reactionary. 

"I don’t think that one violent incident precipitates another," Muller said. 

Following the discussion, the selectmen unanimously approved a $1,000 gift from Lynne and Jack Dodick to be used to fund the Taser project.

Troxell said if people were interested in donating money to arm Weston's Finest with Tasers, they could simply send checks made out to the department with "Taser" in the memo line. 

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Jean Marie Wiesen September 12, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Yep, that makes total sense; wait for another incident and hope that a neighboring town will help cover our butts. Tasers aren't really like a lending library; share w/ a friend. Give me a break! Seriously?!

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