sfpd_cityhall.jpgThe San Francisco Police Commission today is holding the first of three community meetings to discuss a proposal to equip some police officers with Tasers or other stun guns.

The meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Hamilton Recreation Center at 1900 Geary Blvd., comes after police Chief Greg Suhr last August requested that the commission authorize a pilot program in which some officers would carry the devices.

Suhr has said stun guns could be used to subdue potentially dangerous or mentally unstable suspects, citing a July 18, 2012, incident in which an officer fatally shot a man who lunged at her with a box cutter in the Financial District.

The Police Commission has delayed a decision on the use of the stun guns for several months, but could reconsider the idea following the three community hearings, scheduled for today, Feb. 4 and Feb. 11.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups oppose the idea, and some plan to attend the meeting this evening.

The groups say stun guns are too dangerous and that the Police Department should focus instead on fully implementing its crisis intervention training program, established in February 2011, that focuses on de-escalation strategies.

Police say that under the proposed pilot program, the stun guns would only be used by crisis intervention-trained officers, who would be required to also have a defibrillator nearby and face other restrictions.

The Feb. 4 meeting will be held at the Scottish Rite Center at 2850 19th Ave., and the Feb. 11 meeting will be held at the Bayview Opera House at 4705 Third St. All three meetings begin at 6 p.m.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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