Mayor calls for taser training, updated de-escalation tactics for all police officers

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 5:58 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The Mayor of Charleston is asking the police chief to submit a ‘plan of action’ that would train all officers in de-escalation and the use of non-lethal force.

Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin sent a letter Monday to Charleston Police Chief, Tyke Hunt, requesting an update on policing tactics and strategies.

The mayor requested the ‘plan of action’ include mandatory taser training and certification for all Charleston Police Officers, starting with Patrol Officers. An inventory of all tasers owned by the department with a recommendation for purchase of any new tasers necessary to properly equip officers. She also requested additional training in de-escalation tactics for officers, with a specific focus on de-escalation tactics relating to mental illness and additional training and supply purchase for officers in the use of non-lethal force.

In the letter Mayor Shuler Goodwin said, “I know all these training and purchases cannot happen overnight, but we must equip our officers with the tools and training they need to best protect our community…”

“We have some of the best trained officers in the nation, but as you continue to say and remind me, we can always do better.”

Mayor Shuler Goodwin also stated she had already reached out to members of the Finance Committee to identify funds to put the plan into action as soon as possible. She told Chief Hunt once the source of the funding was identified, leaders would “work to secure the necessary approvals from City Council.”

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