Taser concern dominates discussion at campus safety forum

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SF State President Leslie E. Wong speaks to a group of students during a discussion about campus safety in Jack Adams Hall on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013. President Wong used the open forum to answer questions regarding the proposed use of Tasers by the University Police Department. Photo by Philip Houston / Xpress

SF State President Leslie E. Wong speaks to a group of students during a discussion about campus safety in Jack Adams Hall on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013. President Wong used the open forum to answer questions regarding the proposed use of Tasers by the University Police Department. Photo by Philip Houston / Xpress

SF State President Leslie E. Wong led a panel discussion on campus safety in Jack Adams Hall this afternoon, where he was hit with a barrage of student concerns about the University Police Department’s proposed use of Tasers.

With less than 20 students in the audience, Alejandro Garcia Ochoa said the panel was not effectively advertised and as a result, their voices were not being heard.

“I think the organizers in the room would agree, this event was not well advertised at all,” Ochoa said.

Wong however, stressed that the purpose of this panel was to hear student opinion, to aid him in making his final decision on Tasers.

“I want to make it clear no decision has been made and one will not be made until I see the order and the training regiment,” Wong said.

Although SF State UPD has already received one eight-hour training session on the proper use of Tasers, Deputy Chief Reginald D. Parson insisted that the department intends on having “continuous drills even after Tasers are in use.”

Concerned students urged Wong to consider holding another, better advertised, forum on the potential use of Tasers, an idea he is open to.

“If I wanted to do this, it would be done. Since it’s not, that says something,” Wong said.

Others on the panel were:
Director of Counseling and Psychological Services Derethia Duval
Director of Residential Life Mary Ann Begley
Dean of Students Joseph Greenwell
University Police Department Deputy Chief Reginald Parson
and Vice Preseident of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Jo Volkert.

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