A school resource officer in Tiverton, Rhode Island, has been accused of using his department-issued TASER on school grounds multiple times and is currently on paid suspension. 34-year-old Jacob Rapoza is facing charges of simple assault and disorderly conduct, but he has pleaded not guilty. The charges were filed due to Rapoza’s conduct during an assembly in September 2020 and at a school-sponsored football game a month later. In both incidents, he allegedly pointed and activated his TASER, causing sparks, and in the latter case, a high school guidance counselor claimed Rapoza pointed it at her directly. Tiverton Police Chief Patrick Jones was unable to comment further due to the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR). However, the Tiverton school district has since hired a new interim school resource officer, Jacqueline Smaldone, whose role is to provide support to children and act as a mentor. The district is also considering hiring a second school resource officer to improve coverage across its five schools.

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