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Police Commissioner Discusses Tasers On ’60 Minutes’

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Fred Bealefeld

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s police force has had tasers for more than 10 years. Sunday night, City Police Commissioner Fred Bealefeld was in “60 Minutes” to talk about their use.

Monique Griego has more on his opinion—which might surprise you.

They’re designed to control suspects without killing them. Still the debate over law enforcement’s use of tasers rages on, even right here in Baltimore.

“On a personal level, no. I’m absolutely not a fan,” Bealefeld said.

While not a personal fan, he has seen some benefits during their 10 years of use in Baltimore.

“It makes the public safer in a lot of situations,” Bealefeld said. “It has helped contribute in some measure to reductions of deadly force.”

Bealefeld’s concern is that officers will choose tasers over proper police training.

“It could lead you down a path of over-dependence on that device,” Bealefeld said.

While Baltimore’s police force has 2,800 members, only 500 have tasers. In 2010, officers fired them 146 times. In February, a 16-year-old boy, who was running from police, fell off his roof after being tasered. The incident was investigated for excessive force.

Those who oppose tasers say since 2006, more than 180 people have died after being tased.

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