Officers of the Weston Police Department are that much closer to carrying Tasers on their belts.
On Thursday, the Weston Board of Selectmen unanimously approved three gifts totalling $9,541 which have been earmarked to purchase nine Tasers and their accoutrements.
Police John Troxell had requested an $11,000 appropriation from the selectmen to purchase the weapons last month, but the selectmen declined that request. First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said she thought the police department should have asked for the money while crafting its budget earlier this year.
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"I don’t necessarily believe the police department should be in a position where they’re looking for funds to get equipment, but in this case, it was certainly a matter of timing and I'm glad that people stepped forward and donated the funds," Weinstein said at Thursday's meeting.
Police Commissioner Beth Gralnick agreed.
"That was my only concern about this," she said. "I don’t ever want to be in a situation where there can be a sense of impropriety. Unfortunately, when you start getting donations like this, there could be."
At the same meeting last month, Selectman David Muller suggested the department could likely raise the money privately, as once Weston residents were aware of the need, they'd likely rise to meet it.
Gralnick told the selectmen that within two days, they'd received the donations.
Troxell told the selectmen last month he felt as though it was essential Weston's Finest be armed with Tasers following an incident this summer, which was caught on video, where a man acted aggresively and was Tasered by Redding Police. Troxell said the Weston Police Department is the only one in the area that lacked Tasers.
The Weston Police Commission approved the department's Taser policy in March 2011.
The selectmen accepted a separate donation for Tasers last month. The four families who donated money to fund the acquisition of Tasers are as follows:
- Lynne and Jack Dodick—$1,000
- Dallas and Pamela Kersey—$1,000
- Sunil and Uma Ippagunta—$8,041
- Brian and Tamara Jaworski—$500