Date: November 03, 2003 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Carrie Rodgers, (863) 534-6217 OR (863) 819-1856, Pager

Taser Guns Aim To Maximize Deputy Safety

With the goal of maximizing deputy safety and reducing injury, the Polk County Sheriff's Office is in the process of training and equipping each and every patrol deputy with a less-than-lethal weapon capable of instantly stopping a suspect in his tracks.

Sworn to protect and serve, deputies are frequently called upon to confront and control unruly and violent suspects. Providing those deputies who put their lives in jeopardy every day with as much protection as possible is a top priority for the PCSO Training Unit. With this priority in mind, the PCSO Training Unit recently ordered 250 Advanced Taser M-Series guns, and deputies began training in the use of the weapon in October.

The Taser fires two probes - from up to 15 feet away - that are connected to the weapon by high voltage wire. When the probes make contact with the target, the Taser transmits powerful electrical pulses along the wires and into the body of the suspect.

This tool uses a powerful 18 to 26 Watt electrical signal to  override the central nervous system and directly control the skeletal muscles, completely immobolizing the suspect within seconds. Because these weapons affect the central nervous system by imitating the electrical impulses used to communicate within the human body, a hit anywhere on the body can be effective.

According to Training Sgt. Craig Burke, the Taser provides additional safety for both the deputy and the subject by bringing dangerous situations quickly under control before force escalates to lethal levels. Various field studies  have shown these less- lethal weapons can significantly reduce injuries. As a training bonus, the Taser uses the same movements and muscle memory as a firearm, making the system extremely intuitive and easy to use for deputies.

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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