Despite evidence that Tasers are not effective at reducing officer-involved shootings, SFPD is trying to adopt tasers in response to recent officer-involved shootings of mentally ill residents. The San Francisco Police Department wants to arm with tasers officers who are a part of a special team that has been trained to deescalate crisis situations with people with mental illness. Tasers are dangerous weapons, and their use has resulted in the deaths of 533 people in the United States. The SFPD should improve its interactions with mentally ill people by fully implementing the Crisis Intervention Team program, which was mandated by the Police Commission more than a year and a half ago. (To date, only 3 of the 8 Crisis Intervention Team trainings approved by the commission have been completed.) De-escalation techniques like Crisis Intervention Teams are the only truly "less-than-lethal option" for police interactions with people with mental illness. No to tasers for SFPD and yes to competency in interacting with people with mental illness!
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