The BART Police Department currently has 60 Tasers, meaning most of the department is not equipped with the stun guns. The issue of proper training has also been a major concern for the transit agency.
That issue was brought to light during the trial of former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter last year for fatally shooting unarmed passenger Oscar Grant at the Fruitvale station on January 1, 2009.
Mehserle admitted to killing Grant, but claimed that he had meant to use his Taser. His lawyer’s said he hadn’t been properly trained to use the weapon.
A BART official said that the new Tasers will be issued before the fiscal year ends at the end of June and that all officers will be required to carry Tasers once they get proper training on the devices.
The transit agency has set aside as much as $141,000 to purchase the weapons.
Photo Credit: Junglecat, via Wikimedia Commons