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Training for Tasers?

taser_4.jpg
Toby Talbot
/
AP File Photo
Former Brattleboro Police Chief John Martin is seen demonstrating a Taser in this 2007 file photo.

http://www.vpr.net/audio/programs/84/2013/03/vpr-vermont-edition-20130312.mp3

The death of an unarmedThetford man last June has prompted a state-wide discussion about the use of Tasers in Vermont and anew bill in front of the legislature. Macadam Mason died from the electric shock to his chest. After a seven month investigation, Attorney General William Sorrell determined that criminal charges would not be filed against the state police officer who fired the stun gun.

The bill before the legislature would require that law enforcement officers complete training on how to interact with people experiencing a mental health crisis before they would be allowed to carry Tasers. The bill also proscribes that Tasers should not be used unless lethal force is required.

We'll hear from Representative Jim Masland, who helped to craft the bill before the legislature right now. And we'll talk to Allen Gilbert of the Vermont ACLU and Chief Brickell,president of the Chiefs of Police Association of Vermont.

Also on the program, March marks the 75th anniversary of the National Ski Patrol, founded right here in Vermont. NSP historian Rick Hamlin shares the story of how the service got established, after an injured skier had to be dragged down the mountain on a sheet of roofing metal because there was no rescue squad or equipment. Hamlin also explains why no one could get into the army's Tenth Mountain Division without a letter of recommendation from the National Ski Patrol.

Plus, it turns out that online dating and adopting apet have at least one thing in common: a good photograph can lead to a life longrelationship. At the Humane Society of Chittenden County, photographer Kelly Schulze volunteers her time to shoot glamor shots of the shelter's cats and dogs. Shelter workers say adoptions shot up when they started displaying the professional photos on their web page