Crescent City Council approved the purchase of 10 new Tasers Monday to replace its decade-old units.
Police Chief Ivan Minsal said of the 10 Tasers the department currently has, only about four still function.
“The manufacturer, Taser, has stopped producing and servicing these,” Minsal said, holding one up for the council to see. He said the new models are top of the line and will give both officers and suspects a greater level of safety in certain situations.
When fired at a subject, a Taser delivers high voltage, low amperage electrical current through two tiny dart-like probes that stick in the skin or clothing, allowing an officer to disarm or otherwise subdue an hostile subject. Minsal said a subject is given a five-second burst of electricity and ordered to comply.
“As you know, we have several single-officer units and this will give them a tool to engage an aggressive or combative individual who refuses to cooperate or poses a danger.
Minsal showed a short video of officers using a Taser to subdue and disarm a subject with a knife.
Minsal also demonstrated the Taser’s ability to be used as a stun gun, without deploying the darts, by removing the dart cartridge and pressing it against the skin. He said Tasers were used six times during 11 use of force situations, resulting in no lasting injury to the subjects or officers.
According to the manufacturer’s website, the Taser X2 costs $1,400 each. Minsal said he secured a grant last year and put money aside for new Tasers, which will take care of the first year’s payment, along with a trade-in allowance for the current units. He said the first payment will be about $3,500 and $4,500 yearly for the next four years. He said the cost includes unlimited dart cartridges and training.
The purchase was approved unanimously.