All officers of the Smithville Police Department will soon be equipped with tasers
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Chief Randy Caplinger told WJLE Friday that with the TASER X26C, each officer will have the ability to take down a fleeing suspect or someone who is threatening to do harm to himself and or others, without causing any injury or lasting after effects to the target. Tasers temporarily override the central nervous system, taking over muscular control for just a few seconds, giving officers an opportunity to make an arrest while the suspect is immobilized. "All officers with the city are certified and will be carrying the new X26 Taser, which is a weapon that can be utilized at the same time that any type of chemical spray can be used or a baton. It'll be at the officer's discretion. It's a tool actually for the safety of the officers and for the public. It can be used against a fleeing subject or what's called hands on, soft hand, or hard hand combat. Tasers are something the public has been hearing about for years. We hear the negative side a lot but there has never been one death caused by a Taser. A lot of people think a Taser will kill them but it won't. What the Taser does when it's deployed, it immobilizes the muscles. If a person is on drugs and the nerve endings are numb and a chemical spray doesn't affect them, the Taser will. It puts out an electrical charge for five seconds. It immobilizes the person and gives the officer time to make the arrest. Its not going to stop their heart or affect their breathing. If a person has a knife or weapon of any sort, threatening themselves or anyone else it does keep that contact away from that person and the officer. It's nothing that's going to be used regular. It'll just be used in certain situations and the officer will give the person (suspect) a warning that the Taser will be used if they don't follow their commands. We should have one for each officer. That's how many has been ordered. We'll probably start utilizing the Tasers around the first of July,"said Chief Caplinger.
The costs of purchasing the tasers comes to around $5,000. The new city budget also includes funds for a new police car, four shotguns for the department, and a new detective position, along with funds for some new radar equipment.