ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Nearly every on duty patrol officer within the Rockford Police Department will soon be able to carry their own taser. This will allow police to use a less lethal form of force.
City council approves the addition of thirty tasers for patrol officers. Now, the department has a total of 85 tasers. The police department says this will help keep the officers and victims safe, but some aldermen didn't agree.
Rockford Police chief Dan O'Shea says he wants to give his officers as many options as possible to not have to use lethal force. The additional tasers will now allow nearly every on duty patrol officer to be able to carry one. Alderwoman Linda McNeely voted no to the addition because she feels tasers can cause more harm than good.
"I don't see a taser as not being lethal. A taser can, for some individuals it can cause no harm and then for some other individuals it can be deadly,” said 13th Ward Alderwoman Linda McNeely.
"Our officers are highly trained, well-trained in trying to use you know, as little force as possible all the way up to, but we try and train them to deal with life time situations as much as possible. Scenario based training to make sure we don't have a bad incident or use of force,” said Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea.
Although council passed the addition of the new tasers, Alderwoman McNeely says she thinks the police department should come up with other measures as well.
Chief O'Shea says he's been pleased with how his officers have responded to violence and hopes they will continue to do so with the new tasers.