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Police take their best taser shot

Warwick District police officers Sergeant Tim Hoffman and Constable Shane Ross run through their taser program.
Warwick District police officers Sergeant Tim Hoffman and Constable Shane Ross run through their taser program. Emma Channon

A SHOT from a conductive energy weapon - better known as a taser - will take an instant to reach its target.

When the two barbs hit the person, they administer .007 joules of electrical current, more than enough to knock a grown man on to his stomach immediately.

Each hit will last five seconds, giving time enough for police officers behind the weapon to take control of the situation.

Yesterday, the last of the police officers in Warwick and District - Sergeant Tim Hoffman and Constable Shane Ross - underwent their annual simulated response training, an essential element required to carry the weapon.

Sergeant Andrew Grafton, who ran the training feature, said tasers were not readily used by local police officers.

"Off the top of my head, I think there have been three instances in the Warwick and District where tasers have been used," he said.

"There are 11 use of force options officers use when confronted by an aggressive or violent person and it is up to each officer's discretion as to what they do."

Other force options include handcuffs, negotiation, tactical withdrawal and communication skills.

Cnst Ross said all officers treated the taser with great respect, saying it was "another weapon".

Before the shot is fired, police officers give a strong verbal command, warning they have a taser.

When the offender receives the current, police officers use time to take control of the situation.

"Police always employ minimal use of force when dealing with incidents though," Sgt Grafton said

Topics:  crime police taser training weapon


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