Berkeley Township Police have become the latest Ocean County town to deploy tasers to police officers as a way of safely diffusing a dangerous situation.

The deployment of Tasers, conducted energy devices, will be provided to all sworn officers following a year of extensive training to include Use of Force, Attorney General Guidelines as well as detailed hands-on training.

Berkeley Police Chief Karin DiMichele said that these devices offer another tool, an additional less than lethal option, to safely resolve violent conflict without utilizing deadly force.

"The majority of police/citizen contact does not involve force. Officers are able to diffuse situations verbally through the skills acquired from experience and training. Inevitably there will be times that violent encounters and the utilization of force will occur. Although rare, at times the only option available may be deadly force. These are the realities of police work," Chief DiMichele said. "With that being said it is our responsibility as an agency and it is our obligation to our residents to possess all the tools and have the training to effectively and safely defuse situations at their lowest level when possible. The Taser deployment is a significant and positive addition to policing."

The Berkeley Township Taser program was initiated by Chief Karin DiMichele with the support of Mayor Carmen Amato and the Berkeley Township Council.

Chief DiMichele said that the credit for designing and the implementation of this program goes to Berkeley Lieutenant Brian Woermer with the assistance of the Ocean County Prosecutors Office, Sergeant Michael Heale and Manchester Township Police Lieutenant James Komsa.

Last week, Brick Township Police announced that thirty-seven officers will now be deployed with tasers which follows Manchester Police and Lakewood Police in deploying these CED's.

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