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Monday, February 06, 2023

Tasers may only be used in "specific circumstances," UF President Bernie Machen said Tuesday at a press conference.

At the press conference at Emerson Alumni Hall, a University Police Department document concerning the use of Tasers was passed out.

According to the UPD document, the circumstances for using a Taser include trying to avoid an officer?s attempts to control a situation.

This can include people bracing themselves, pushing or not allowing an officer to approach. A person does not have to strike or harm an officer to justify use of a Taser, according to the UPD papers.

The document, entitled "Use of Force," was last revised in March and also deals with other policies on violence.

The document classifies violence on a scale of one to six, with level one being intimidating body language and level six being attempts to kill or badly hurt an officer. Tasers are an accepted response to level four and above.

But officers must also take into account the person they are dealing with.

"For instance, an unarmed small framed female juvenile may be displaying level five resistance but would probably only require level three response by the average officer," it reads.

All police officers who carry Tasers receive annual training. Officers are not authorized to carry Tasers off duty, according to the document.

Any time a person is Tasered, even if it?s accidental, the incident is subject to internal review.

If someone is Tasered, according to the UPD paper, paramedics will be called after that person is taken into custody.

All policies will remain unchanged until internal investigations have taken place, Machen said at the press conference.

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Machen said that Tasers have become acceptable on university campuses.

Campuses are trying their best to ensure campuses are safe and students are safe, he said.

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