By Jessica Howard
Bacchus Marsh Police are now equipped with tasers.
The first officers armed with the Conducted Energy Devices (CEDs) took to the streets last week, as part of a statewide rollout to 24-hour police stations.
The regional rollout began in early 2016 following extensive trials in pilot stations. Bacchus Marsh Acting Senior Sergeant, Barry Hills said the devices were of great benefit to local police.
“The tasers were introduced some time ago and are now being rolled out to regional police stations. The devices provide other options for managing critical incidents,” he said.
“Our members have undertaken extensive training regarding the legislation in which they are bound by when using the devices. While we hope that we never actually have to put them to use, it is a powerful and beneficial tool if we do”.
Deputy Commissioner, Wendy Steendam said more police would now have further non-lethal options when dealing with violent people and those threatening self-harm.
“Unfortunately, over recent years there has been an increase in the number of incidents where police have been confronted by armed and violent people and those who are drug or alcohol affected,” she said.
“These are often physical confrontations where police, members of the community and the individuals themselves are at risk of being injured.
“Once our officers are trained in their use, CEDs can provide an additional tactical option to help resolve some of these high risk incidents.
“They can only be used when it’s believed it will prevent death or serious injury. In many cases, the presentation of a CED alone can help to safely diffuse a situation.”
Ms Steendam said officers were required to undertake a two-day course before being able to carry CEDs.
In total, police at 36 stations will have CEDs, with the rollout continuing until mid-2018.