Wake County Sheriff To Stop Issuing Tasers Over Excessive Force Concerns

Wake County Sheriff's Office Legal adviser Rick Brown said that deputies will just have to "go hands-on" instead.

Raleigh, NC – Electronic Control Devices (ECDs) will no longer be issued to new Wake County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputies due to changes to the department’s use-of-force policy.

WCSO legal adviser Rick Brown said that Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker decided to phase out the department’s use of the less-lethal tool in response to a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, WRAL reported.

In that case, the court determined that use of Tasers may qualify as excessive force in some situations.

Instead of risking liability, the sheriff decided to stop issuing the weapons altogether.

New hires will not be issued ECDs, and when the ECDs deputies are currently carrying stop working, they won’t receive new ones.

With one less tool at their disposal, deputies will be forced to “go hands-on” with combative suspects instead, Brown told WRAL.

Deputies may use baton strikes in place of the ECD weapons.

"Are they happy about it? Of course not. Who would be?" Brown told the news outlet. "By the same token, they are willing to do their job. They don't want to hurt anybody. That's not their job."

The sheriff’s decision to phase out the department’s ECDs was one of several policy changes announced during a deputy training session on Tuesday.

Brown said that de-escalation and patience are at the forefront of the WCSO’s new use-of-force policy.

"What's the person's problem? Can they be reasoned with? What kind of a threat are they to themselves and the officer?" Brown asked the deputies.

"[You need to know] all those things to have sufficient facts before using force,” he declared.

Brown said it is important to gain the public’s trust, and that using force during an encounter should be a last resort.

“We cannot have law enforcement that the public does not believe that law enforcement does not have integrity, and part of that is proper use of force," he told WRAL.

The WCSO will also be making changes to when and how K9s can be deployed, Brown added.

Alterations to the department’s vehicle pursuit policy have also been implemented.

Instead of leaving deputies to decide when to initiate and end a chase, that call will now be made by supervisors.

"There have been studies to show that you don't want somebody who has to concentrate on the driving skills that it takes to pursue somebody to be aware of all these other factors” such as the seriousness of the initial offense, pedestrians, weather conditions, and traffic, Brown told WRAL.

Comments (53)
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Dutchuncle
Dutchuncle

North Carolina has got Bat Crap Crazy. What is the world are these people thinking electing People like this,,do they want another California????? Maybe this FAT POD should go back on patrol and Stop acting like a Politician

Hunterriley
Hunterriley

Fine... don't work to detain THE LAW BREAKERS....SHOOT THEM DEAD INSTEAD... MAKES SENSE TO EVERY LIBERAL IDIOT

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

I foresee a rapid increase in on-the-job injury claims and more officers out on medical leave (and that's just the upside of this ridiculous idea). The downside would be more officers having to leave the job they love (forced retirement due to medical issues) and more funerals. Maybe officers will leave this department and find another position before any harm comes to them.

Theendisnear
Theendisnear

Shows you really can't fix Stupid

Mig Alley
Mig Alley

I'm in NC myself and we elected a black sheriff here as well. He isn't cooperating with ICE as best as I can tell. Shouldn't be much longer before he follows this asshats lead.

Mig Alley
Mig Alley

Might as well take the ammo from the police officers as well. They can just throw their side arm at the bad guys.

AnnykaV
AnnykaV

Oh my fucking God. Raleigh is of course one of the liberal bubbles in NC, but the insanity in these proposals and announcements is just crazy.

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

Take away intermediate tools to do the job? One more reason to go deadly force. I’m not saying for this to happen, but a lot more people will be getting shot. Fucking idiots, change legal advisors.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

I think this policy will help encourage police officers to give suspects adequate time to comply with police commands instead of quickly escalating to electroshock.

roller
roller

Ignorance and stupidity in police administration is running rampant in this country. What is this jerk going to do when a taser could have ended the threat to the officer but now the officer is forced to use his sidearm?

Bstn
Bstn

Does this Sherriff realize he just stripped his Deputies of a necessary tool to try & use before they reach for their guns in violent situations, there is a reason officers nationwide are issued batons/ASPs, tasers & guns.. Sir you will be reason your Deputies reach for their guns first.. Good job jack ass!!

Charlie$
Charlie$

When he gets enough injured officers and lawsuit, he bring back the tasers

BlueLM101
BlueLM101

What else does the new policy require? Do officers have to say, "Please don't run?" or "Please come back?" How about, "Please don't punch or kick me and just let me put the cuffs on you?"

What do they think, that mace is better alternative? I have been both maced and hit with a Taser. I would take the Taser any day. Getting him with OC is far worse and lasts a hell of a lot longer. What has always concerned me was when a bronchial asthmatic takes a good shot in the face and then you are watching them be intubated.

Tasers are far more effective, less lethal and should never be considered as excessive force.

DarrellB
DarrellB

If this is all based on the decision in Armstrong v. Village of Pinehurst, wow, is this lawyer ever wrong! In that case, a SUPERVISOR told the Officer to drive stun a mentally ill person to get him to release a pole. Their were 6 people on site to assist. So yes, they ruled that drive stunning a mental health patient 5 times in less than 120 seconds, IAW existing studies of effectiveness, and a subject not posing a threat, ... was excessive. Instead, the liberals and lawyers use this as a pathetic excuse to strip a vital tool from the hands of Officers?!?!?! Total BS!!! We fell down the same slippery slope when they took the awesome and amazing PR-24 baton away from Officers. The frivolous brutality claims didn't stop then either. If government would start fighting these suits, making them PROVE error, they would go away.

Pissedoffpatriot
Pissedoffpatriot

More liberal bleeding hearts for the criminals, and to hell with the victims!

61mouse
61mouse

Good now we can get right to business

spd522
spd522

Another Democrat spook protecting thugs and hindering the ability of the police to do their job.

tuffkr1
tuffkr1

Does he not understand the progressive order of force? So now he wants the officers to go from verbal communication straight to hands on physical force or non-lethal weapons (batons)? Hell why not just shoot them. Proper training and discipline to those that violate policy would be a much more sensible approach in my opinion. Get ready to defend your department in multiple lawsuits.

LynnSB
LynnSB

Hmm why don't you get together a pass another Law -- "Criminals must comply with Officers Demands to surrender or face a good stern talking too " What a Fing JOKE -- Why don't you just paint a Large Target on their backs ! Officer you should walk off the job and let the Animals Kill Each other -- Doesn't matter who they Hurt or Kill on the way because the Police Chief is MORE concerned with there BS then with Innocents and Officers !!

Paul Kersey Jr.
Paul Kersey Jr.

I'm predicting OIS's in Wake County to start trending up soon.