Atlanta police will pack Taser non-lethal weapons (with related video)
The Atlanta Police Department (APD) is buying 400 Tasers for use on patrol. With the purchase, Atlanta police are following the lead of many law enforcement agencies in outfitting their officers with the non-lethal weapon.
Tasers and similar electroshock weaponsare used to incapacitate people either by touching them with the device or shooting probes from a distance. The devices use electrical current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles. They are considered to be non-lethal weapons and are used by police to subdue fleeing, belligerent, or potentially dangerous people. In police situations, the Tasers can be used instead of more lethal weapons, such as a firearm.
The 400 Tasers, which are the X2 model from Scottsdale, Ariz.-based TASER International, will cost the city $799,000, said APD Deputy Chief Shawn Jones. Jones told Govpro that federal monies will help pay for the weapons.There will not be enough units for each of the 1,900 APD officers. The weapons will go to officers in Zone 1 west of downtown and Zones 3 and 4, southeast and southwest Atlanta. The three zones earmarked for the weapons have some of the highest crime rates in the city.
Jones said no exact delivery date for the weapons has been set. “We are still waiting for the purchase to go through the entire council process,” Jones told Govpro.
Jones said the X2 offers a variety of benefits to APD officers and the community. “The equipment is going to minimize dangerous, violent situations of potential injuries where officers hurry in, get injured and get taken out of the line of duty. It minimizes that possibility. It also minimizes the workers’ compensation claims associated with those situations. The equipment may also minimize the possibility of injuries to individuals the officers are attempting to arrest.”
The APD deputy chief is pleased with the upcoming purchase. ”It’s almost like a win-win for the police dept, the law enforcement officers and the individuals who we are encountering. Even though they may be resisting arrest and threatening force towards APD personnel — that officer doesn’t have to execute significant force to subdue that individual.”
Until now, the few Tasers that APD possessed have been assigned to SWAT officers. The APD hopes to get more units in the future.
As the delivery date gets closer, each officer will be trained on use-of-force laws, APD policies, when the devices should be used and how to use them. Other weapons that officers have, in addition to their firearms, are batons and pepper spray.
, law enforcement students at Rapid City, S.D.-based Western Dakota Tech go through TASER training this past January. During the training, students felt what it’s like to be TASERed so they understand what it means to use the law enforcement tool.