TASER: An Officer's Weapon of Choice
CBS' "60 Minutes" on Nov. 13 included a segment addressing the use of TASERs by officers.
November 14, 2011
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Jeremy David Young @ 11/14/2011 8:59 PM
I believe that there is some good media out there and some bad. The bad will always be against anything that us Law Enforcement Officials use to gain an upper hand on situations. While I agree that the Taser may be used way too much, and that being lack of training, I believe that lives have been spared, more than those who have died because of the use. Besides, many of the cases of death have been ruled as Excited Delirium and that coming from Doctors. So it is something that the Officials cannot control.
reg_law @ 11/16/2011 8:13 AM
I have to say that I expected a slanted story from 60 Minutes, but it actually fairly balanced. It wasn't a sales pitch for TASER, but it spent most of its time talking about the benefits, which are many, talked with a researcher who was generally positive, but felt the device was used inappropriately in some cases (is anyone denying this?) but saves lives and injuries in most cases, a reluctant user with the same concern, and discussed the current controversy and did a pretty good job of both putting it in perspective, and asking the kind of questions which shows they are considering the motivations of the information source. This is actually pretty decent journalism, and leaves at least this viewer with the message that the TASER is a good tool if it isn't over-depended upon. Can LE expect better than that?
Jeff Wenker @ 12/6/2011 5:14 PM
I have been an LEO for over twenty years. My department started using TASER over ten years ago. Since that time our department has been awarded 3 life saving awards for the use of TASER. Two of the 3 incidents had we not had the TASER, our officer would have had to use deadly force possibly killing the subject. Even some of the subject's family members have thanked the officers publically for not using deadly force on their loved ones.
I agree with many of the statements made by other LEO about the TASER. 1) It saves lives. 2) It prevents officers and the subjects from being injured. 3) Departments need to train their officers in the proper use and misuse of the TASER. 4) Those officers who have been convicted of or confirmed to have misused the TASER through an IA investigation should be disciplined/terminated. Hold those that misuse the TASER accountable for their actions. Don't blame all LEO for some sloppy officers.
Finally, why is it every time I see a news report on the TASER they are always showing one side of it? Usually the news groups are only talking about instances where the TASER is being blamed for an unfortunate death. Rarely do they talk about the fact the subject had enough illegal narcotics in their system they would have died or did in fact die from the Overdose. Why don't they talk about the thousands upon thousands of deployments of the TASER over the years that have saved lives? I don't ever seem to see or hear about those. Just once I would like to see an objective probe into the TASER where both sides are shown. Bottom line is TASER is a great tool! I feel the real problem is people have an inherent fear of electricity and of that which they don't understand. It is up to the LE community to be conscientious and diligent in the use and deployment of the TASER. And for both TASER and LE to educate the public about TASER since the public/media doesn't seem to want an objective probe into it.
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