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Senate passes Taser bill

ATLANTA - Police agencies that wish to make Taser stun guns part of their arsenal would have to meet training requirements set by the state under a bill approved by the Senate Monday.

The legislation, which passed 52-1, would require police departments to develop policies for using Tasers that comply with standards established by the Georgia Peace Officer Training Council.

Officers designated to use Tasers would have to complete a training course developed by the council and meet its certification requirements.

The issue caught the General Assembly's attention last year following the death of a Lawrenceville man in May 2004. Frederick Jerome Williams died at the Gwinnett County Detention Center after being stunned multiple times by a Taser during a struggle with deputies.

Williams' widow has filed a lawsuit against the county and Taser International, manufacturer of the stun gun.

The bill passed the House overwhelmingly last month.

However, it must return to the lower chamber before it can become law because of a slight change made by the Senate.