Police Chief Disputes Claims Made on Behalf of His Agency Against TASER

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., TASER International Inc., a manufacturer of electronic control devices announced Oct. 17 that it has filed a declaration from Ronald Burge, former police chief of the Village of Dolton, Ill., which disputes the claims made in a class action complaint filed by Dolton against the company. According to a TASER press release, the declaration of Burge, who was the chief of police during the period alleged in the complaint, says:

– He never received any complaints or negative comments from a Dolton police officer or a citizen of Dolton regarding the lack of safety, alleged danger or alleged harm caused by the use of a TASER device by a police officer.

– He never experienced or was ever made aware of any adverse or dangerous effects that were caused by the use of a TASER device.

– During the period in which the Dolton police officers used TASER devices, no injuries or deaths were ever reported that were related to the use of a TASER device.

– He found TASER devices to be effective and safe law enforcement tools that are beneficial to the efficacy and safety of law officers.

– At no time did he ever order Dolton police to suspend its use of TASER devices nor was he involved in any way with the decision to suspend the use of TASER devices on May 19, 2005 and no explanation was ever given.

– Regarding the subject of the performance and utility of TASER devices, he has only expressed that he believed TASER devices are effective law enforcement tools.

According to TASER, the declaration of Burge further confirms that many of the allegations made in the complaint are false.

“TASER International has moved the court for dismissal of this complaint and for sanctions for filing frivolous litigation based in part on the declaration of former Police Chief Ron Burge,” said Douglas Klint, General Counsel for TASER. “The Chief’s declaration raises several serious questions as to the motivations of the mayor in filing this complaint, which blatantly lied about the involvement of the chief and the police department and was filed by the same law firm that filed a shareholder class-action suit against TASER International earlier this year.”

“It is important to note that this alleged ‘class-action’ complaint has only one plaintiff, and the leadership of its police department was never involved in the complaint and, in fact, disagreed with the complaint. The experience of the Village of Dolton police department as reported by Chief Burge is consistent with the experience of the vast majority of over 8,000 law enforcement agencies that have found the TASER device is among the safest and most effective use of force tools available to today,” concluded Mr. Klint.

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