John J. Hoffman, the acting Attorney General of New Jersey, has announced a new policy for law enforcement use of stun guns. The directive applies to NJ police officers at all levels, including state, county and local police departments.
Stun guns are an important tool used by New Jersey law enforcement to stop suspects in criminal cases without using deadly force. Elie Honig, the director of the NJ Division of Criminal Justice, has encouraged more police departments throughout the state to equip officers with the devices because they have the potential to save lives during confrontations.
Why Was the New Rule Needed?
The lack of clarity in the previous stun gun policy often left NJ police officers wondering when exactly they were allowed to use stun guns to apprehend or subdue a suspect. For instance, a police officer involved in a confrontation with a suspect in the process of resisting arrest might not have been able to accurately predict the severity of the injury that the suspect could potentially cause – and this was a required element in the old stun gun policy.
The revised policy is known as the “Attorney General’s Supplemental Policy on Conducted Energy Devices” and calls for NJ law enforcement to be properly trained in how to effectively, and safely, use stun guns.
When announcing the changes to the state’s stun gun policy, Acting Attorney General Hoffman said that it was important to keep in mind that “police have a very dangerous job requiring split-second judgments” and that the use of stun guns by New Jersey law enforcement “can prevent a confrontation from turning deadly.” Hoffman succinctly drove home his point about safety by declaring, “Simply put, stun guns save lives.”
For more information, read the Bergen Dispatch article, “NJ Attorney General Announces Revised Policy on Use of Stun Guns as Alternative to Deadly Force.”
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