Tasers Come To Jackson City Police

By: Meaghan M. Norman Email
By: Meaghan M. Norman Email

Jackson City Police officers had training on Thursday and Friday on our to use their new tasers.

"It's not new to Jackson County but it's new to us," said Lt. Elmer Hitt of the Jackson Police Department.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office already uses tasers and thanks to a federal grant, now so do the city police.

"We're one of the last departments to implement them and get them out there," said Hitt.

The training session included how to use the tasers, when to use and them and where on the body officers should target. The main areas are the back, below the neck and in the lower torso area from the sternum to the waist.

"[The taser] sends an electrical pulse that interferes with the brain's ability to community with the muscles, causing the muscles to contract and tighten. It's an involuntary response to the body," said Hitt.

Protocol according to Hitt for Jackson police officers is to use only in situation where a subject is adamently resisting and when a gun or other weapon would not be effective.

"When there is resistive or combative behavior and attempting to make an arrest or take somebody into custody --- that could lead to the use and deployment of the taser by one of our officers," said Hitt.

Studies have shown that using a taser can drastically reduce injuries to both the officers themselves as well as to suspects or people who are taken into custody. A few months ago Hitt remarked that an officer was trying to apprehend a suspect alone and that person was extremely combative. Both the suspect and officers suffered minor injuries because they ended up getting involved in hand-to-hand physical contact. Hitt said this could have been a great tool for that situation.

The officers are instructed and it's policy to use a taser no more than three times on a subject. Each use of the device is determined by the officer. If the suspect is not subdued by one shot, then another is fired. Again, if two still is not sufficient then a third may be used. Hitt said the policy does state that only in extenuating circumstances can an officer fire more than three shots.

As soon as training is completed, which is likely by the end of the week, the officers will start to carry them immediately.

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