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After what happened on a highway near Vernal recently, it is easy to see why the use of tasers by law enforcement remains controversial.
The infamous YouTube video of a young Utah father being tasered by a Highway Patrolman has made all of us more aware of this law enforcement tool. Clearly, a Taser can be an effective alternative to more lethal force. Better a Taser than a .45! Then again, because the Taser isn't considered lethal, are officers inclined to use the tool even when it may not be entirely necessary?
The fact his bosses say Trooper Jon Gardner justifiably tasered Jared Massey doesn't necessarily mean it was the right thing to do. After all, his bosses also concluded the trooper and Massey could have communicated more effectively, and perhaps avoided the tasering.
While tasers, at times, can be effective, the Vernal incident reaffirms the need for clearer coordinated Taser policies among law enforcement agencies, and more thorough and effective training on their use.