San Antonio police enact new Taser policy

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by Associated Press

kvue.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:38 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 20 at 11:54 AM

SAN ANTONIO -- Police Chief William McManus is stopping officers from using Tasers on anyone "known to be under the influence of drugs," and limiting the number of officers using the weapon against a person to one.

The San Antonio Express-News reports effective immediately, McManus said officers are prohibited from using Tasers-weapons that deliver shocks of enough voltage to disrupt a person's neuromuscular system-if they have "firsthand knowledge" that someone is on drugs.

The police chief's new policy is linked to medical research that examined people who were shocked with Tasers and later died.

McManus says there a medical connection between an overdose of adrenaline to the heart when drugs are being used called "excited delirium" and Taser deaths.

His new policy-announced Thursday in an internal bulletin- requires officers who use Tasers to get 16 hours of training, doubling the requirement.

Also, the police chief is sending the 141 officers who already use the weapons back to the training academy for another eight hours of training.

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