April 18, 2012
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NY senator proposes TASERs for transit workers

The senator believes the device could deter crime without the dangers of a lethal weapon

By PoliceOne Staff

NEW YORK — A state senator is looking to arm transit workers with TASERs.

Last year Sen. Eric Adams — a retired NYPD captain — proposed letting Amtrack and commuter train personnel carry TASERs, but the measure died in committee in Albany, according to CBS Local

Now the push is renewed, and legislation extended to subway conductors and bus drivers. The senator believes the device could deter crime without the dangers of a lethal weapon.

“A bullet you can’t control, but a Taser, the electronic probes are not designated until the person pulls the trigger, so if you don’t hit your intended target you are not going to hit an innocent person,” Adams said.

The NYPD and Metropolitan Transportation Authority are against it. Not even every NYPD police officer can carry a TASER, as they are reserved for sergeants and certain members of specialized police units who receive training, Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said.

Some commuters said they would feel safer knowing transit workers were armed, while others said if the measure passes, "the bad guys will arm themselves to the teeth."

Subway workers were assaulted 94 times in 2011, up from 72 in 2010. Last year they were harassed 1,092 times.

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