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Local Police Address Tasing Protocol - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Local Police Address Tasing Protocol

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A shocking situation out of South Dakota where an officer used a stun gun on an 8-year-old girl after she was holding a knife to her chest, threatening suicide.

The girl's father says the officer should be disciplined for using excessive force, but the Pierre, S.D. Police Chief says they possibly saved the girls life.

This is a story that has a lot of people talking on social media today, so Valley News teams Kristi Larson talked with local officers to see how they're trained for situations like this.

"We trust they make the right decisions when they face those situations." says Sgt. Jason Nelson from the Fargo Police Department.

Police officers go through training before they go out on the streets.

"It's called a fast machine where there's an interactive screen, you talk to the screen and things like that and then you react to what happens on that screen, and we have tasers, OC and guns that are all used in those scenario." Sgt. Nelson says.

Fargo Police carry two less lethal weapons, a taser and OC spray. It's a force that is sometimes needed no matter if it's a child or an adult. 

Fargo police guidelines don't specify what action to take when a child is making threats, instead trusting their officers to make the right decision.

"A 12 year-old can hurt you just as well as a 22 or 42 year-old, depending what is going on in that situation." Sgt. Nelson says.

In 2012 Fargo Police used a taser 16 times, so far in 2013 they've used it 11 times. Officers say numbers are kept low because they are taught to use communication before force.

"At least yearly we'll go through defensive tactics that will include less than lethal force, which includes the taser and OC spray. Both classroom training and scenario based training." Sgt. Nelson adds.

Keeping up on training so they can help serve the community.

Once again, The Police Chief in Prairie, South Dakota says the use of the taser is justified.

 

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