UH CENTER FOR PUBLIC POLICY STUDY TARGETS
City of Houston Commissions the Examination of HPD Policy, Training
and Use of Tasers
HOUSTON, April 16, 2007—The University of Houston Center
for Public Policy (CPP) will study how the use of Taser electric
stun guns has affected the Houston community and its police officers.
The study was commissioned by the city of Houston and will be overseen
by the city controller’s office.
“Among other things we’ll look at whether Houston Police
Department (HPD) officers are discharging the Tasers on any populations
disproportionately and whether the cause is combative and dangerous
behavior or profiling,” Jim Granato, CPP director, said. “We’ll
also look at whether or not Tasers have reduced serious injuries
to suspects and officers by giving officers an alternate way to
approach combative suspects.”
Researchers will look at data from the nearly 1,000 times a Taser
has been discharged since the policy was implemented in December
2004. They’ll look at the actions leading up to the discharge
of the Taser, the neighborhoods where Tasers were discharged, and
the demographic characteristics of the officers and the people who
In addition to using data already collected by HPD, researchers
will gather independent information through focus groups with HPD
officers who have used Tasers and those who have not.
The CPP is working collaboratively with researchers from Sam Houston
State University who will examine HPD’s policies and procedures
on the use of Tasers and officer training.
The study will be completed by the end of the summer.
Since 1981, CPP has provided the Houston community with impartial
research in public policy, politics and economics. The center also
is home to the Survey Research Institute led by professor of political
science Richard Murray, and the Institute Regional Forecasting headed
by professor of economics Barton Smith. Additionally, the CPP oversees
UH’s government internship programs in Washington, D.C., Austin
and Houston as well as numerous conferences and seminars open to
For more information about the UH Center for Public Policy, please
For more information about UH visit the universitys Newsroom at www.uh.edu/admin/media/newsroom.