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By Roman Gokhman
Bay Area News Group

SAN RAMON, Calif - The San Ramon Police Department's new Tasers do more than stop crime suspects who fight with officers they also record video and audio of each time the device is used.
"It's a pretty expensive add-on but "... what a great way to prove what really happened," Lt. Liz Gresham said.
The department's officers and sergeants, 52 in all, will be equipped with the devices, Lt. Dan Pratt said. The total cost for the Tasers and training was about $80,000, he said.
The San Ramon department is one of the last police forces in the East Bay to get Tasers, which send a short, powerful electric jolt to briefly incapacitate dangerous or combative people who pose a danger to officers, others or themselves.
"We've only been our own (independent department) for a year," Gresham said. "We had a lot of other training needs we had to address first."
The city previously had a contract for police services with the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office.
San Ramon's City Council approved the purchase of Tasers for the police department in July and training began last week, Gresham said. All officers are expected to complete eight hours of training by Oct. 1. Gresham said her department's officers will be getting two more hours of training than the industry standard of six.
Officers will receive additional training annually.
The video camera and microphone are in the handle of the Taser and begins taping as soon as the
weapon's safety is switched off, Gresham said
She said that the new tool will not replace anything else in the department's arsenal. Officers will still carry other non-lethal weapons, such as batons and pepper spray.

Wire Service
 
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