The following press release was sent to the Bloomingtonian Tuesday:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2023
For more information, please contact:
Captain Ryan Pedigo, Bloomington Police Department
[email protected] or 812-349-3324
Bloomington Police Establish Pilot Program for Electronic Control Weapons
Bloomington, Ind. — After consideration and review by the five-member Public Safety
Board, the Bloomington Police Department will soon begin a multi-month pilot program
of deploying electronic control weapons (ECWs), commonly referred to as Tasers. The
pilot will provide ECWs to some officers as an additional less-lethal option to study their
effectiveness in reducing the number of injuries to both suspects and officers when
officers encounter an individual who physically resists arrest.
The proposed pilot program was presented to the Board of Public Safety in two public
meetings in July and August. The Board had earlier asked the Police Department to
review all recommendations of President Obama’s Final Report of the President’s Task
Force on 21st Century Policing, and equipping officers with ECWs is the sole remaining
action item that the Department is able to implement but has yet to complete.
The Board of Public Safety is a civilian oversight board for the police department with
members appointed by the Mayor. In their review Board members provided suggestions
regarding the program and requests for various data points to be shared publicly as the
program is underway.
During the pilot program, ECWs will be issued to a limited number of officers on all three
shifts. All uses of the ECWs will be reviewed and studied to determine the
circumstances surrounding the usage and whether or not the ECW assisted in reaching
pre-determined goals, which include reducing the number of events in which suspects
and/or officers are injured during use of force encounters. This program will begin in
2023 and continue into 2024, when a recommendation will be made as to whether to
continue use of ECWs and whether all officers of the department should be equipped
with the technology.
Currently, all other law enforcement agencies in Monroe County equip their officers with