Devices offer control that stuns – Auburn Journal

Posted: February 22, 2011 by scaryhouse in Uncategorized

By Bridget Jones,  Journal Staff Writer

TASERs offer citizens a form of self-defense. Some local residents believe they are great tools while others think they are abused.

It is legal in the state of California for citizens to own, carry and use electronic control devices, sometimes known by the brand name TASER, for self-defense.

Capt. John Ruffcorn of the Auburn Police Department said officers use their TASERs in situations that don’t require the deadly force of a gun.

“The TASER provides us a tool so that there is larger difference between deadly force and non-deadly force,” Ruffcorn said. “Just our mere presence is force and then (to control situations) we go to verbal commands, and possibly chemical spray and possibly a baton. That TASER provides us another level of force.”

Lt. Mark Reed, spokesman for the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, said the Sheriff’s Office also uses the tool when it needs to control a situation.

“An example would be if somebody was trying to attack a deputy and he didn’t feel it met the level of deadly force, then we could use the TASER to subdue them,” Reed said.

According to TASER International’s website, law enforcement TASERS allow for a five-second charge once their barbs have reached their target, while civilian TASERs have a 30-second charge that is designed to allow the user to get safely away from an assailant.

Officer Gary Hopping, of the Auburn Police Department, said an electronic control device is designed to disrupt the exoskeleton system, so while the charge is going through someone they can still breathe and blink.

Ruffcorn said, as with any other types of force, TASER use is noted in Auburn Police reports.

“If we were to use any other types of hands-on force, a chemical spray, a TASER, that would be documented in a report,” he said.

Detective Rick Hardesty, with the Auburn Police Department, said it is a myth that a TASER alone can stop someone’s heart.

“There is no documented evidence of an actual case where somebody’s heart was stopped from this,” Hardesty said. “There is already an associated factor involved (when someone dies).”

via Devices offer control that stuns – Auburn Journal.

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