Police Officer / Taser

San Francisco Cuts Funding To Arm Cops With Tasers

Holly Quan
June 26, 2018 - 10:53 am

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS Radio) - Just when the San Francisco's Police Department finally thought it was going to get Tasers for officers by the end of the year, city supervisors have pulled funding to pay for them. City officials say they thought the devices were going to cost twice what the department estimated. 

It has taken over 10 years for the Police Commission to approve Tasers. Some critics argued that they are lethal and used more often than guns. That oppostion has made San Francisco one of the last major police departments in the country to operate without the weapons. 

After winning the Commission's support last year, the department was ready to roll out the devices in December at a cost of $2 million this year and another $1 million in 2019. But at a Supervisors' budget meeting on Monday, officials suggested it could actually cost twice that. Plus, the supervisors weren't happy with the rules for using the stun guns.

"The supervisors, to their credit, I think want to see that policy coupled with any equipment purchases," said Paul Henderson, the city's Director of Police Accountability. "And the purchases that was presented in front of them was not enough to comtemplate all of the policy restrictions that would make the community more safe and would make them feel more comfortable about approving and giving the greenlight to tasers for this department."

Supervisors said that if Police Chief Bill Scott wants the money, he is welcome to come back to the Board next year with updated costs and plans for implementation.