Almost 2 years after the Buffalo Common Council approved the purchase, the Buffalo Police Department has finally begun distributing tasers to officers in the City of Buffalo.

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After many delays caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, Buffalo Police officers began receiving their tasers and training in the first weeks of March 2022. So far, just under 200 officers have received them. More are on the way, but officers first must complete a training course on the proper use of the device.

When all of the training is complete, approximately 500 tasers will have been issued to officers in the Buffalo Police Department.

Many in the community have been asking why is Buffalo such a late adopter of this less-than-lethal weapon, and subsequently what took so long to deploy them. Many other police departments around New York State use tasers, including Buffalo suburbs like the Town of Tonawanda.

While the Buffalo Police Department has been moving towards less lethal means of stopping potential suspects and using tools like the Bolawrap, it has come too late to stop the latest officer-involved shooting.

Dominique Thomas was shot by officers early in the morning on March 14th after he allegedly charged at officers with a knife. It's been reported that Thomas was having some sort of mental emergency charged at officers. If these officers had another tool at their disposal, like a taser, perhaps things would have turned out different for Thomas.

Tasers are not perfect and are not without their issues. In late 2021, a man apparently burst into flames and was left in critical condition after being shot with a taser by officers from the Catskill, New York Police Department.

Policing in America is a hard job, and we as a citizenry need to come up with better ways to protect the peace and ensure people are not unnecessarily harmed.

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