By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Plaindealer
Ackerman Police Department officers earn re-certification on using the taser after the August 16 training. A deputy with the Choctaw County Sheriff’s Department and the Webster County Sheriff’s Department also earns their certification.
Mitch Jackson, taser instructor with the Eupora Police Department, taught the officers about the proper way to use a taser, how to safely remove the prongs and the effects of being shocked by the taser.
As part of the training, officers without taser training where shocked by the taser so they could experience the less-lethal force. In this class, APD Officer Lloyd Denning and Webster SO Deputy Brad Vaughan were shot with the taser. Other officers were earning their re-certification.
Using the taser is not only to help gain control with an uncooperative suspect, but to help protect law enforcement.
The Taser is a device that resembles an officer’s service weapon, but smaller. It is laser-sighted and uses cartridges attached to the end of the unit.
When “shot” the cartridges project a pair of prongs or darts on steel wires up to 25 feet. The device sends 50,000 volts of electricity over the thin steel wires, with the effect of overriding a subject’s motor and sensory nervous system causing muscle contractions for five seconds.
Without the cartridge, the Taser can function as a touch stun device.
In either mode, the Taser delivers its electrical charge in a preset, five-second cycle. Once the cycle ends or is broken, the effects on the subject disappear.
Jackson said the Taser is intended to provide officers with a less-lethal force option to help them overcome a subject’s combative intent, physical resistance or assaultive behavior; subdue people bent on harming themselves or others; and provide self-defense.
As with all applications of force, officers using less-lethal options are expected to use necessary and reasonable force to affect a lawful purpose. “Necessary and reasonable” uses are defined by the totality of the circumstances that confront officers and the exercise of their professional judgment.