Tasers under review at area universities - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Tasers under review at area universities

Posted by Dave Dykema - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Police departments on college campuses are taking a closer look at using Tasers after a student died in an incident over the weekend in Cincinnati.

The University of Toledo has used them for eight years. All officers in the UT Police Department are trained in how to use them.

While it's a non-lethal weapon, it has its consequences.

Everette Howard, 18, died Saturday after being Tased by a police officer at the University of Cincinnati.

The coroner will decide if the Taser caused his death.

University of Toledo Police Chief Jeff Newton is closely following what happened. He knows the chief in Cincinnati and says they have well-trained officers.

Newton still feels the Taser and its electrical charge saves lives. "I still think that the advantages of using the Taser as a tool outweighs the disadvantages, but ... no tool is perfect."

All UT officers carry their Tasers in a holster. They have to be re-certified every year. They're also not allowed to use them on the elderly, pregnant women, or anyone standing in water.

Newton says there's an after-action report they has to be filled out if one is used. "The county has a policy that someone that has been Tased needs to be medically cleared before they are booked into the Lucas County Jail."

UT students are glad the officers have them.

"I think it's good because it's safer to Tase someone than it is to shoot them," sophomore Dan Wurzinger said.

"Back at my high school we had officers walking around with Tasers all the time, back in Monroe even, where I live," sophomore Paxton Kish said.

Newton says UT officers have only used their Tasers a handful of times in eight years.

Officers at Bowling Green State University do not carry Tasers, but a spokesperson says they are being considered.

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