On Aug. 18, Buckeye City Council approved spending $1.1 million over five years on police body cameras and Taser “stun guns.”
According to agenda material, “The purchase of a bundled five-year package will save the city of Buckeye approximately $100,000.”
“Over the past few years, the Buckeye Police Department has placed a priority on less-lethal options as well as de-escalation training for our officers,” Buckeye Police Chief Larry Hall told the West Valley View.
He noted the package council approved is more than just the equipment.
“The virtual reality de-escalation training that comes with our upgraded Taser and Axon camera purchase is one more training component aimed at helping us reduce use of force incidents and lessening injuries to both citizens and officers,” Hall said.
According to Hall, his officers used their Tasers seven times in 2019, down from eight Taser deployments in 2018, 13 in 2017 and 21 in 2016.
Buckeye police officers fired guns twice in 2019, once when a suspect opened fire on officers with a handgun, the other time when a suspect armed with a gun wanted for kidnapping/carjacking attempted to run down officers with a vehicle, according to Hall.
In 2018, Buckeye officers shot at a suspect who allegedly fired at officers.