CRANFORD, NJ-The Cranford Police Department is the first municipal police department in Union County to provide its trained officers with Conductive Energy Devices, commonly known as Tasers, according to a press release sent by the department on April 5.

The officers were equipped with the devices last week, following a two-day training course conducted by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office CED Training Task Force. The CEDs will be carried by the officers during their normal shifts, according to the press release.

“As with other tools carried by our officers, this is one that I hope they never have to use,” police chief James Wozniak said in the press release. “However, the implementation of these devices allows us to prevent potentially violent situations to escalate to a level where deadly force may otherwise be necessary.”

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The CED program aims to provide officers with tools and options to prevent the use of deadly force. Wozniak selected veteran uniform officers to carry CEDs after the officers completed Crisis Intervention Team training, a 40-hour training program focused on mental illness and techniques to pacify a crisis, according to the press release.

“It allows an added level of protection for our officers and our residents,” Wozniak said in the press release. “The Union County Prosecutor’s Office was a great partner in assisting us in getting our CED program off the ground. The training staff was an excellent source of knowledge, and their program administrator, Captain James Russo, was invaluable.”