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Macon Police Plan to Buy 60 Tasers

6:47 AM, Feb 15, 2013   |    comments
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Macon Police Chief Mike Burns says they plan to buy 60 tasers for sergeants this year at a cost of around $94,000.

After a police officer shot and killed a man outside a supermarket in December, council members discussed why more officers don't have tasers. They say having tasers might reduce the need to use deadly force.

RELATED | Budget Issues Keep Most Macon Officers Without Tasers

"It's good to have a second choice just prior to lethal force," says council member Henry Gibson. "Lethal force is permanent. If you tase someone in good faith and it causes problems, you know, that's the best that you could do as long as you are not abusing it."

Burns says a taser is just one tool for officers to use.

"Just like the pepper spray is," he adds. "There's a certain range for it to be effective. Just like if you're too close, the taser isn't going to work, pepper spray isn't going to work. If you're too far away, neither one of them will work like they should."

He says 25 tasers were approved in last year's budget, but a lack of SPLOST funds pushed them down the priority list.

In a council committee meeting Thursday afternoon, Burns said they'll discuss how to gradually buy more tasers for the entire force.

A Macon Council committee will discuss the taser purchase next week.

The GBI is still investigating the fatal shooting of Sammie Davis, Jr., by officer Clayton Sutton.

Burns says it could be a few more weeks before the GBI releases their results.

When asked about Councilman Henry Gibson's questions regarding the length of the investigation, police spokesperson Jami Gaudet responded, "When the investigation was turned over to the GBI at the request of Bibb County District Attorney David Cooke, the MPD was asked not to discuss the case. We have respectfully abided by D.A. Cooke's wishes. As Chief Burns told the media last week when interviewed at the start of our annual retreat, there will be a time for the MPD to respond to the incident. We will continue to honor the D.A.'s request until the investigation is complete and the findings are revealed."

Meanwhile, Sutton remains on administrative leave. That's standard practice when an officer is involved in a shooting.

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