Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Don't Tase Me Bro! How Chief Monroe is Shocking Taxpayers
Last week Charlotte Police Chief Rodney Monroe released the following statement regarding the department's use of TASERS:
On July 21, 2011, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department began immediately inspecting all of our Electronic Control Devices (TASERS) to ensure they were in proper working order. To accomplish that goal, all ECDs were collected from our officers and personally tested and inspected. This inspection identified a small number ECD’s had minor defects such as batteries and date reset displays; they will be replaced or repaired.
CMPD has also completed an internal review of the department’s policy on the use of ECD’s as well as the training that officers receive on their use. The CMPD continues to believe that TASERS are a valuable tool for police officers and that they ultimately enhance the safety of our citizens by giving officers a viable option to minimize injuries to themselves and others.
However, it is critical that both our officers and the public have confidence not only in the devices themselves but also in the policies and training related to their use. To that end, I have asked the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) to conduct a review of the department’s policies and procedures regarding TASER deployment along with our training program. PERF specializes in identifying best practices related to law enforcement issues and is familiar with TASER deployment policies and training throughout the country. PERF’s review will give us an objective outside look at our policies and training and will help us identify any needed modifications.
I anticipate that the PERF Review will take 45 to 50 days to complete. While that will take us past our initial target of September 7 to complete the review, I believe that the extra time spent on that outside review will result in enhanced confidence in our use of TASERS, both for our officers and the public. We will keep you informed on the progress of the review.
We are also in discussions with TASER International regarding the possible replacement of our current TASERS with a newer model that has some additional safety features. I will keep you updated on the progress of those discussions.
Chief Rodney D. Monroe
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
Here is the inside scoop:
After 100s of man hours those within CMPD who were asked to conduct the review gave their presentation to Chief Monroe on Tuesday. Their findings were straight forward; first the TASERS and the department's training proved more than adequate. Second should the chief have any question regarding the safety of the weapons the most logical solution would be to move up the date which the department had already agreed to acquire the new TASERS from TASER International.
In other words the entire memo seems to be nothing more than a white wash of the facts.
Why have a department review if you are simply going to toss it in the circular file and and spend another 20 thousand to have someone else repeat the process and reach the same conclusion?
The answer, smoke and mirrors. Monroe simply wanted things done his way and having PERF say the new TASERS are better than the old TASERS is the perfect solution. Can PERF find fault in CMPD Policies and training? Consultants like PERF are happy to provide the answer you want to show up on the report. This is how "outside" consultants and experts work.
But why hire the Washington DC based Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) in the first place? Do they have a special weapons testing facility? Answer: Not really, but it turns out PERF has assisted the City of Charlotte in the past.
What did they assist the City of Charlotte with? Answer, would you believe locating a new police chief? The Washington based organization has an Executive Search division that has, according to their web site "assisted with more than 75 executive searches, providing our clients with a highly qualified and diverse national candidate pool from which to select a new police leader. PERF has assisted jurisdictions such as Charlotte North Carolina..."
That's right PERF is also an Executive Search firm that helped the City Manager of Charlotte select the chief of police.
Read it for yourself right here.
Shocking isn't it? Meanwhile for the next two months CMPD officers on the street are going without one of the most effective tools on their utility belt. A weapon that keeps them safe and protects the public as well. Why?
You tell me.