Tasers are back for University of Cincinnati police officers

CINCINNATI -- Driving around the streets of the University of Cincinnati, you might just bump into Officer Andrew Mueller.

He's been in law enforcement for five years, and now he's got a new skill under his belt: Taser use.

"We've been implementing them for the last month and a half," said Assistant Chief Maris Herold of the University of Cincinnati Police Department. "We've been undergoing training for the whole department, and that's an 8-hour block of training."

As of Monday, all of the officers have been trained and equipped with the latest X26P Taser model, and they've been put out on the streets and sidewalks of campus.

Reinstituting Taser use was recommended last year as a best practice for the UCPD to prevent incidents like the 2015 officer-involved shooting of Samuel DuBose. It's been six years since the department stopped using Tasers.

"My understanding is we had a couple of controversial deaths that were related to Tasers," Herold said, noting that all the training is meant to avoid similar scenarios from reoccurring. "Taser changed its policy. (Recommended Taser use) moved from the front portion of the chest to the back," Herold said.

Mueller certainly had a memorable training session. He had the Taser used on him.

"I know exactly what it's going to do and furthermore, I know exactly what it's going to feel, and I think that gives me a lot of credibility. ... It felt really bad,"  Mueller said. "Not fun."

Mueller said the officers went through real-life scenarios to know what it might feel like when they come into a high-stress situation with a criminal.

"As a police officer, you're protecting life and liberty," Mueller said. "The last thing you want to use is deadly force, so it's another option we have to avoid such an incident."

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