October 12, 2012

The Oct. 4 Metro story “Police defend policy on Taser use” stated, in reference to me, that “Mage “also believes that, if police continue to use Tasers, they should be made to carry defibrillators in their patrol cars to treat episodes of cardiac arrest that he said could result from use of the devices.”

But Montgomery County police officers do not need to be “made to carry defibrillators.” Police officers want to carry the device in squad cars.

Police Chief J. Thomas Manger has said that defibrillators are his next priority after installing video cameras in police cars. County Executive Isiah Leggett told my organization in 2008 that he supported this measure.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35 has written to Leggett asking for defibrillators. The question is one of funding. But where there’s a will there’s a way. What is needed is for residents to urge the County Council and Mr. Leggett to include funding for police car defibrillators in the next budget.

Mike Mage, Bethesda

The writer is co-chairman of the Montgomery County Chapter of the ACLU of Maryland.