In 2004 The Forest Park Police Department joined thousands of other law enforcement and military agencies worldwide by adding Taser Internationals Taser X26 as a less lethal tool for its officers. The departments Taser X26 units were purchased with a grant from the Judicial Advisory Council B.A.D.G.E. program sponsored by Cook County a very generous donation from Wal-Mart, 1300 Desplaines, Forest Park.
The Taser X26 is an Electronic Control Device (ECD) that causes temporary neuromuscular incapacitation (NMI). The X26 has aided in handling and apprehending high-risk suspects who pose a risk to law enforcement officers. Agencies using tasers have recorded a dramatic decrease in officer injuries, suspect injuries, lethal force incidents and financial claims related to use of force liability.
When officers are confronted by people who are resistive and aggressive,deranged or suicidal, they are in a very dangerous and unpredictable situation. In order to resolve the confrontation, officers may be required to respond the resistance or aggression with the use of force up to and including lethal force. The addition of the Tasers have added an effective less-lethal option for Forest Park officers which has reduced the potential of a lethal force confrontation ending in death, injury to the officers or injury to the combative suspects.
All Forest Park Police Officers that choose to carry and use a taser must first successfully complete a training/certification course given by one of the department certified instructors. During the training most officers receive a voluntary exposure from the Taser. The officers learn about Taser technology, proper use, use of force and department policy and procedures.
Numerous independent scientific studies and thousands of volunteers including voluntary exposures during training session for the Forest Park Officers have proved the safety of the incapacitating effects of Taser technology. The police department would like to expand the number of taser units so that every working officer can have a Taser as a less lethal option while protecting the residents of Forest Park.