Police said the Taser gives officers a 'less-than-lethal option' when it comes to disarming a violent situation.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- "ZAP!" is the new sound of justice in the city.
The city's lieutenants and sergeants will soon be equipped with Taser guns. Tasers discharge a hook that produces an electric charge.
"If a person is shot with a Taser it causes them to lose muscle control, and 99 percent of the time the person will fall to the ground," said Lt. Joseph Marhulik. "The Taser gives us an alternative to using a gun."
Marhulik added that the Taser causes no lasting injuries.
"I have been shot with one before during training, and I went down," Marhulik said. "It gives off a tingling feeling, and you lose muscle control and fall ..."
Marhulik said it is not necessary for a person to be seen by a medical professional after being shot with the Taser.
Chief's comment: "I think it is important that our officers have a less-than-lethal option," said Police Chief John Mandopoulos. "If there is a way we can disarm a violent situation without shooting someone with a gun, then we should do it."
The chief and Marhulik noted that the Taser may be used in a case where a person is holding a knife to their throat and threatening to kill themselves.
"This would be a situation where you would want to disarm the person as soon as possible," Marhulik said.
The chief noted that he does not believe the Tasers will replace guns.
"If someone has a gun and they are pointing it at you, then you need a gun, not a Taser," Mandopoulos said.
Marhulik said he is still in the process of training the nine officers who will carry the Taser. He is hoping that all the officers will be carrying the Tasers in the next few weeks.
The chief said he would like all the officers to have a Taser but because of the cost of the equipment, the city was able to buy nine.
The Tasers were bought from Taser International, Scotsdale, Arizona and cost $399 apiece.