CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois State Police is spending $1.4 million to outfit every patrol trooper and sergeant with a video-equipped Taser that will capture footage of every instance in which the high-voltage devices are used, officials said.
The agency plans to buy about 800 Tasers and train officers on how to use the devices. Meanwhile the Illinois Tollway is buying another 118 for troopers to use when they patrol the northern Illinois highway system, according to a report (http://bit.ly/16eeDiY ) in The Chicago Sun-Times.
"Troopers generally patrol alone and in remote areas throughout the state," said ISP spokeswoman Monique Bond. "Tasers are a valuable resource when confronted with combative and/or intoxicated offenders."
Bond said the decision to add the devices is based "solely on safety."
The new Tasers will be distributed in the coming months after officers undergo specialized training. ISP paid $1,668 for each Taser "package," which includes the stun gun, a camera, a holster and servicing.
The Tasers look like handguns and can give off a high-voltage charge if the barbs and wires are fired from the device.
Chicago Police officers also use Tasers. Only four states don't equip state police with the devices, according to the newspaper.
Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, http://www.suntimes.com/index