An SFPOA radio advertisement states, "A recent survey reveals that 68 percent of San Franciscans favor Tasers for our cops."
The police commission is considering Tasers in its review of lethal force policies.
SF Police union survey finds vast majority of City residents want their cops armed with tasers. Story at abc7news. pic.twitter.com/t6PIKrYxSW— Vic Lee (@vicleeabc7) April 6, 2016
The SFPOA released the radio spot after getting results of a survey it commissioned, which shows 68 percent of those polled support arming officers with Tasers. Only 14 percent of the 500 San Francisco voters surveyed said they opposed the electronic control devices, while 18 percent weren't sure.
Our informal survey found similar views.
"It's less lethal than shooting somebody," said one resident.
Another added, "I think it's taken a little too long to get them armed with Tasers."
"If that helps cut down shootings and the firearms, then definitely," said another resident.
SFPOA President Martin Halloran says the poll validates his position that all the officers should be carrying Tasers as an alternative, when possible, to lethal force.
"Right now, SFPD officers go from a baton to a bullet," he said.
So far, two of the seven police commissioners have come out publicly against Tasers. The main argument being that they could result in medical emergencies, even sudden death.
Chief Greg Suhr has proposed a narrower policy -- that only select officers, like the tactical unit, should be equipped with them. Then maybe more later.
"I'm somebody that believes that to go in with some sort of measure of caution whenever you do something new, see how it goes, see if you have any problems, see how you can make it better," he said.
One hurdle to the police union proposal is the cost of deploying Tasers all at once to all officers.
"When it comes to saving a life, what's the cost to a human life in the city?" said Halloran.
Police commissioners are set to discuss the issue on Wednesday night.