Dallas County

Safer Dallas Pushes for Less Lethal Guns

Dallas police officers may soon have new, less lethal weapons at their disposal.

The nonprofit group Safer Dallas, Better Dallas is looking to raise $250,000 to purchase 100 40mm single launchers that shoot less-than-lethal sponge rounds.

The rounds are designed to incapacitate a person without killing them and have the impact of a 95 mph fastball.

The group hopes to be able to purchase the launchers by the summer.

At a SDBD Steering Committee Meeting on Thursday, Dallas Police Deputy Chief Jeff Cotner said there will be less-lethal teams on patrol, who will carry the launchers to assist other officers dealing with people who may not be cooperative.

Cotner said the launchers will provide officers with better cover, time and distance to limit the use of force and end an incident.

The launchers can be used from six feet to 164 feet away. Tasers are currently deployed in situations where officers are less than 21 feet away from a suspect, Cotner said.

The DPD launchers will have a yellow firing tube and strap to denote the less than lethal option.

Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk also spoke to the SDBD group. Police Chief David Brown adressed the group as well, but did not discuss the city's recent violent crime numbers.

Safer Dallas chairman Charles Terrell did address the situation, saying he blames the city council for not funding enough officers and keeping their pay competitive.

Since 2006, SDBD has raised more than $19 million to aid the Dallas Police Department with additional training and equipment.

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