Elsewhere: Crucial Taser decision coming Ex

The San Francisco Police Commission today will consider a request by police Chief George Gascon to authorize the department to acquire Tasers for patrol officers.

Gascon has previously said that he would like officers to have Tasers as a “less-lethal” tool to reduce injuries to both officers and suspects.

Should the police commission approve use of the stun guns, Gascon has said he’d like to have them by the end of the year.

Police spokeswoman Lt. Lyn Tomioka cautioned Tuesday that finding the funds to buy Tasers for each patrol officer could be another hurdle.

“They’re not cheap,” she said.

San Francisco is facing an approximately $520 million budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year.

The police commission today will also hear a presentation on a new study commissioned by Gascon on officer-involved shootings. The report analyzed 15 officer-involved shootings reported between January 2005 and August 2009.

The report, issued Jan. 20, does not specifically mention Tasers but concludes that in eight of the 15 shootings, “less-lethal” options “may have been a viable alternative to the use of deadly force.”

Police already have an “extended-range impact weapon,” a shotgun that shoots beanbags, but the report concluded that weapon would not have been safe in each of those situations because the officer and the suspect were too close.

The use of Tasers, which deliver an electric shock to temporarily disable muscle control, has been controversial and implicated in serious injuries and deaths.

The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in Room 400 at San Francisco City Hall.

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