Pepperball Gives Officers A New Option
Due to concerns over Taser guns, certain law enforcement agencies are employing PepperBall guns. The guns fire rounds of powderized pepper spray that temporarily blinds suspects and offer police the advantage in risky situations.
PepperBall guns are good for breaking up a crowd and permit officers to hit targets from longer distances, while Taser guns mandate closer proximity, explains Redlands, Calif., police Sgt. Vonn Layel.
PepperBall guns can maintain accuracy up to 30 feet for hitting individuals and are good for crowd control at distances up to 100 feet, adds Beaumont, Calif., Police Department rangemaster Francisco Velasquez.
However, cautions Layel, PepperBalls can sometimes jam in the hoppers, which connect to the top of the gun and retain the balls before they are chambered for firing. He adds that some officers have had PepperBalls rupture in their patrol cars’ trunks, exposing them to small amounts of pepper spray.
In addition, while Taser guns are portable and can be sported on an officer’s belt, PepperBalls and their accessories have to be transported in patrol cars’ trunks. Although they do not create serious damage, PepperBalls tend to cause grapefruit-size welts on individuals hit by them.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the San Bernardino Sun (CA) (04/17/05); Nelson, Joe .