Training Is Key to Knowing When to Use a CED (e.g., Taser), Geoffrey Alpert (3 of 4)

Well, that’s a good question because used properly, it boils down to the reasonableness standard and boils down to using a level of force that may be a little bit above the suspect but not overwhelmingly and also includes not using any type of force to punish someone. So I think it’s a training issue. I think officers have to be trained to understand what they’re facing. How do you deal with a threat? They’ve all been through defensive tactics. They’ve all been through learning how to fight and learning how to use their hands and be able to control a suspect. They’ve got to understand that the CED is a tool that they bring out when those don’t work or when there’s a chance that they’ll get hurt if the other person is already being aggressive. So I think it’s a training issue. A proper use of a CED is when a suspect is being aggressive, is threatening you as a police officer or someone else and has a means to carry out that threat, and there’s a likelihood that somebody’s going to get hurt if you don’t use that CED against them.

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