Jefferson County Sheriff’s to begin using tasers
The emergence of synthetic drugs like bath salts has forced police departments to reassess how they handle combative suspects. In Jefferson County, the Sheriff's office has purchased a new tool. Our Brian Dwyer shows us how deputies are getting familiar with their new tasers, testing them out the hard way.
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, N.Y. -- Two probes sending out electric pulses through a body that basically temporarily paralyze someone. Jefferson County has used money it has seized from drug busts to buy 12 tasers.
"It's just kind of like a feeling of a lack of control for the five seconds the taser is being deployed," said Edmond Coseo, Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy.
"Statistics show there's less officer injury and actually less perpetrator injury also," Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns said.
Burns says for several reasons, it's important for his deputies to not only learn about the gun, but feel the effects. Those pulses last five seconds, dropping grown men almost immediately
"It's pretty indescribable."
John Gleason was one deputy who learned the hard way, taking two to the back.
Gleason said, "You're completely aware of your surroundings the whole time. You can hear them giving you commands, saying relax, relax, but your body is telling you differently. It's basically like a really bad leg cramp throughout your entire body."
Gleason says knowing the pain and knowing his reaction allows him to better understand the right time to use it.
"Obviously you're going to take that into consideration for each circumstance you are in," Gleason said.
And with the department dealing with synthetic and chemical drug users on a daily basis, they know typical efforts to subdue just don't work.
"There's certainly been occasions when we've pepper sprayed someone who's been on bath salts and it's had no effect on them at all," Burns said.
Burns also says the deputies getting tasered can also help them in the courtroom. Lawyers wanting to know why they used it and if they know what it does, they can respond yes.
By next week, Burns plans to have eight tasers out on the roads and four inside the jail.