CHICAGO (CBS) – Chicago Police are using their Tasers far more often this year.
A new report indicates that police used Tasers to subdue almost 700 people in the past 12 months, up from less than 200 last year.
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But the Independent Police Review Authority says the increase in Taser use has not generated much of an increase in complaints.
The agency had been conducting an investigation every time a Taser was used, as they do when police use their firearms. But now, the agency says it will only investigate when there are allegations of misconduct, when serious injury or death results, or when a minor or senior citizen is targeted, the Chicago Tribune reported.
In March, Chicago Police more than doubled the number of Tasers available – from 280 to 660 – and gave them to patrol officers for the first time, the Tribune reported. Previously, only sergeants and field officers could carry them.
Separately, the Independent Police Review Authority said the number of complaints it has received about verbal abuse by police officers has dropped from 199 to 162 this year, the Tribune reported. Excessive force complaints have also dropped, according to the Tribune.