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Weston Selectmen Deny Police Taser Request

WESTON, Conn. – Weston selectmen denied the police department’s request for $11,041 to purchase additional tasers, saying town voters should approve the purchase first.

Chief John Troxell and Officer Joe Miceli addressed the selectmen and showed a videotape of a July 13 incident, in which Jaime Gonzalez of Bridgeport was tasered by Redding police after he allegedly was involved in an accident on Newtown Turnpike. Weston police responded to the incident, but were unable to apprehend him and weren't equipped with tasers.

“This event triggered it,” said Troxell, who requested money for 11 new tasers, which would replace the three the department currently has and equip the entire force. He called tasers “the last line of defense before lethal force,” the device that would be used after the baton and pepper spray.

First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said the July incident was an isolated one. She said the purchase of tasers is merited, but “we have to allow the town to weigh in.”

She also said public contributions can pay for the tasers, and the board approved a gift of $1,000 from Lynne and Jack Dodick, which will pay for one taser.

Troxell said he is soliciting contributions, but hasn't received any others. A member of the audience asked how he can contribute and Troxell said he can send a check to the police department.

Another member of the audience said $11,000 is a small amount to pay for police protection and encouraged the board to approve the expenditure, but the selectmen were adamant about not approving the purchase without a townwide vote.

At Thursday night’s meeting, the selectmen also approved $17,850 to pay for the removal of trees on Old Mill Road to make the road safer for drivers and residents. Weinstein worried improving the road actually would encourage faster driving but Troxell said it would “improve site lines and give officers the opportunity to do enforcement.”

Ali Farson, a resident of Old Mill Road, said cutting down the trees “is only one step of a two step problem. We also need speed bumps or other measures.”

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