EXCLUSIVE: SF police union files for referendum on Tasers, says commission approval not enough

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The San Francisco Police Commission hopes to have Tasers in the hands of officers by late next year, but first, they would have to adopt a policy.

Police Union President Marty Halloran said Tasers have been debated by the police commission for eight long years.

Four police chiefs have asked for them. But, Halloran said, the fact that the commission finally voted for the use of Tasers last month is not enough.

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"What they voted on was the concept or idea of SFPD officers carrying Tasers," he said. "They did not vote on a policy. This has gone on long enough. We want to take this to the voters."

That's why on Tuesday, the POA filed notice with the Office of Elections that they'll circulate petitions for a referendum on Tasers in next June's elections. This proposed ordinance lists a policy that the POA believes will protect its officers and the public.

Halloran said it's not much different from a draft policy the commission worked on in May. "That's almost the identical language that we're going to put forward to the voters," he said.

The commission hopes to have Tasers to officers by December 2018, at the earliest.

Commission President Julius Terman said that means hearing from all stakeholders, including opponents.

"We need sometime to look at all those policies and come together on what the best policy should be," he said.

Halloran is not convinced that will be the case. "I'm afraid that policy will be tweaked to a point where it's no longer practical," he explained.

If the police commission decides to adopt a policy acceptable to the POA, like last May's working draft, the POA says it will drop its call for the referendum.
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