Illinois State Police patrol officers will soon be carrying tasers with a video camera attached.
State police say it has purchased about 800 of these devices, which officers can use once they undergo specialized training.
“This is a less lethal use of force, which gives (police) another option to defend themselves, or to possibly subdue a combative motorist or a fleeing motorist” explained ISP spokeswoman Monique Bond.
Bond said a specialized unit has been given tasers, but she said all officers will now have access to them.
Lieutenant Brian Mennenga with the Champaign County Sheriff’s office said his department already uses tasers, and equips officers in the jail with the tasers that record video.
“Whatever happens in that facility, then it’s on video,” Mennenga said. “That way you can see first-hand the officer’s point of view when they did have to use a taser, or even if they didn’t have to use the taser, they can have the video activated to show the circumstances around that.”
Mennenga said the video can also become a valuable training tool for law enforcement.
Meanwhile, the Illinois State Police said its tasers will be distributed in the next few months.