Police Tasers Dangerous? - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Police Tasers Dangerous?

Police often use tasers to get a suspect under control, but critics say they're relying on them too much.  Some contend using tasers longer than the recommended five seconds have caused fatal injuries. Though the weapon couldn't be directly linked to the deaths.

 The Fritch Police department is taking the steps to ensure officers never allow that to happen.

Allegations that they are misused have police putting in their own system to track officers and ensure safety.

Chief of Police Terry Cox says, "[Our tasers have] a data download port on them.  It allows us to track the 2,000 firings of the taser.  It gives us the opportunity to look and see how many times it was deployed, gives us the exact time it was deployed and how long it was deployed."

They also make sure officers know what is happening to the suspect during the shock by allowing them to go through it themselves.

Cox says, "Our officers have taken voluntary hits with the taser and we have all survived it.  So now we know exactly when someone asks, 'Do you know what you were doing to that guy when you shot him with a taser?'.  Yes we do.  We know exactly because we've been through it."

He says that his officers have only used their tasers six times in the four years they've had them.

Here is a look at how other agencies in our area use tasers. The year represents when they received them, then how many times they have been used.

Fritch- 2004, 6 Uses in 2006

Amarillo PD-2004, 68 Uses in 2006

Canyon PD-2005, 3 Uses in 2006

Randall Co.-2006, 1 Used Total

Potter Co.-2006, 5 Used Total

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