Bad guys in the city of Manchester might be shocked by the new weaponry the police department has acquired. Literally shocked.
The city has purchased 250 Tasers for the police department.
“Wait,” you say. “Aren’t we laying off 161 school employees, mostly teachers? Where did this money come from?”
It came from druggies.
When city police officers make a big drug bust, the city sometimes shares with the DEA whatever money is seized. Months ago, Mayor Ted Gatsas told us on Tuesday, a couple of drug busts netted hundreds of thousands of dollars for Manchester. That money goes into a special account and is supposed to be used for law enforcement. When it became clear that federal grant money would not be available for Taser purchases, as city officials had hoped, they tapped $290,000 of the forfeited drug money.
There are legitimate concerns about the incentives that drug forfeiture laws give to law enforcement agencies. Still, with this money sitting there, it was smart to use it for the Tasers. We can think of several incidents in the recent past that might have turned out much better had city police been armed with these non-lethal weapons.