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New DPD Policy Will Allow More Officer Stun Gun Use

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - The Dallas Police Department plans to allow its officers to use stun guns more often and the decision has solid support from the Dallas Police Association.

According to the DPA, the current police policy allows officers to use a Taser only if a person has made credible threat to harm the officer. DPA Vice President Michael Mata says the new policy has not been ratified.

Mata says the proposal allows officer to use stun guns "when a suspect does more than verbally resist an officer's request and makes some type of physical or overt action to prevent from being detained or arrested."

Mata says the DPA supports police Chief David Brown 100-percent on the new standards for Taser. "It allows officers to use a tool earlier in the progression of a possible deadly force scenario," he said.

Some community activists are concerned about the proposal.

Lamont Levels often works with officers in the DPD Gang Unit. Levels says he is concerned the new policy will create more violence in some neighborhoods. "If we're just going to enforce and we're just going to enforce, then the next think you know the cops are getting more brutal and more violent and more deadly. Then what do you think the people in the community are going to do?"

But the DPA believes the stun gun is a valuable tool for officers. Mata said, "We are trying to save lives by preventing situations from escalating to deadly force."

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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