Deputies use tasers to take down criminals - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Deputies use tasers to take down criminals

July 9, 2004

Valdosta - Chris Porter is feeling the effects of being shot with an M-26 taser. "I could feel the current going through me and everything felt like muscular failure," said Porter.

It's enough to convince this criminal justice intern that tasers are one of the most effective ways to control a criminal. "If I wasn't complying with what an officer said and they did that I would definitely comply to prevent that from happening again," said Porter.

The Lowndes County Sheriff's Department has been using these non-lethal weapons for about eight months now. "It's been very, very effective," said Sheriff Ashley Paulk.

Here's how it works. The taser deploys wires that have sharp barbs attached to them. "The amperage is sent down the wires and delivered into the person," said Sirmins. The target is basically paralyzed for about 10 seconds. "Most of the time the reaction is you become very rigid, like a board," said Sirmins.

The M-26 taser can deliver up to 50,000 volts of electricity into a person. Police say its one of the safest methods of apprehension for both the suspect and the officer. "It actually protects the person you're apprehending because if you have to use force and fight them, someone's going to get hurt," said Paulk.

And the after effects are little to none. "What you'll typically have is something like a bee sting," said Sirmins.

A small mark, but a big effect that's stopping criminals in their tracks.

posted at 3:30 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com