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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Tasers Purchased by Gastonia Police Department

All officers have taken a class on its use, but only 50 carrying the weapon

Charlotte Observer

Fifty of Gastonia's 167 police officers are now carrying Tasers.

Getting stun guns for the department has been a three-year project, which has allowed the department to learn from others' mistakes in their use, Gastonia Police Sgt. Paul Smith said. A grant paid for the Tasers, which cost about $1,000 each, he said. The department would like to eventually buy a Taser for each officer.

A Taser sends electrical impulses that temporarily disrupt the body's central nervous system, causing muscles to go limp.

The Tasers have been split among the department's units, but all officers have taken a class to learn about the Taser even if they aren't carrying one yet, Smith said.

Like any new law enforcement tool, Tasers have created their share of controversy. Smith said the delay in getting Tasers has allowed the department to create a policy that establishes clear guidelines for when a Taser should be used. More HERE

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