APD adopts taser as new tool - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

APD adopts taser as new tool

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May 6, 2008

Albany --  Some Albany Police Officers are getting 'tased.' They haved to in order to become the first on the force to carry tasers as non-lethal self-defense weapons.  

Part of their training involved the officers feeling the power of those tasers themselves.

Albany Police Patrol Officer Hope Allen gets the jolt of her lifetime.  "It was the most intense feeling I've ever felt before in my life," Allen said.

Before any officer gets to carry a taser, they have to experience its sting for themselves.  Training Sergeant Keithen Hall said "You know what it felt like. And being compassionate like we are, you don't want to deploy it unless you absolutely have to."

The taser fires several small darts up to 15 feet, and thin wires carry the high voltage shock. People have died from tasers being used by police, so officers are trained not only how to use it, but when to use it as a deterrent to violence. 

"From the hollering and screaming you can just imagine. With a taser, you come in a house and say, 'Sir if you don't comply, you will be tased. It will eliminate a lot of wrestling and fighting," Hall said.

Corporal Jon Segroves says after feeling the effects of the taser, he thinks it will save people from getting hurt.  "This will save officers from injuries in reference to situations where they do have to struggle with a suspect. This will be one of the best tools we have had lately."

The Albany Police taser has a camera and microphone built in, that will record its use. "When he cuts the taser on, it cuts the camera on just like that. We can hear the whole incident, him giving commands, and all that type stuff," Hall said.

The Officers say tasers are another tool they can use to subdue a suspect, without having to use their firearm. Right now the Albany Police have ten taser units, and are training more officers to be certified to carry them on the streets.

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