Augusta police officers will now be equipped with stun guns, which are commonly referred to by the brand name Taser.
Chief Jared Mills said the new policy follows a review of its response to a fatal shooting at Augusta’s Bread of Life Ministries shelter.
Mills said that while the use of stun guns would not have been an appropriate response in that specific shooting, he believes they offer a useful, non-lethal option for officers.
“Everything’s situational for us. And we just look at that as another non-lethal, non-deadly use of force, in the particular situation in which it fits,” Mills said.
Two of the three officers who responded during the Bread of Life shooting were not equipped with stun guns. Mills said most officers in the department are now trained and equipped.
This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.