Thursday, October 18, 2001

Hamilton police getting new weapon

Air Tasers said to be a safe alternative

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — All 40 Hamilton police cruisers are being equipped with a new “less lethal” weapon: Air Tasers.

        The weapon, unveiled at a training session Wednesday, fires darts that shock a suspect's muscles.

        Similar weapons are being considered to arm airline pilots against terrorists. Hundreds of police agencies are using the device, including Cincinnati and a few others in the Tristate.

        Police Chief Neil Ferdelman said he's convinced the new technology will help protect officers as well as suspects and the public “and might possibly save a life.”

        Chief Ferdelman is ensuring the department's 130 officers receive at least four hours of training on the weapon's proper use — about twice the manufacturer-recommended level. The chief also has issued an order specifying conditions under which the Taser may be deployed. It may be used only against “violent or potentially violent” suspects who defy officers' orders or present risk of serious injury to themselves or others.

        During Wednesday's training, officers practiced on high-tech targets — and on a few volunteers.

        Officer Greg Baker said the Taser caused “sharp, intense pain” that “totally incapacitated” him. But he recovered quickly.

        The effects typically last 20 seconds to a minute — long enough for an officer to handcuff a suspect, Sgt. Ed Buns said.

        The weapons, each about $400, were obtained through a federal law-enforcement grant, the chief said.

        Jane Prendergast and Sheila McLaughlin contributed to this story.


Bioterror gets personal
DNA expert joins UC genetics program
New ideas shape high schools
Trophy or not, Galaxy nominees all winners
Golden Galaxy 2001 Winners
Council delays vote on housing
County unit hires director
Fuller touts inexperience
Mediator offers Mason proposal
Meeting studies college diversity
Muslim stamp tangled in politics
Tristate A.M. Report
Whites take turn in forum
HOWARD: Some Good News
PULFER: Gum, garlic?
College chasing after diversity
Goshen schools fight repeal bid
- Hamilton police getting new weapon
Miami talks a slice of past
Three of 4 candidates for levy
Troupe heads to big parade
Caseworker killed on home visit
Drug-zone law fails court test
Ohio House votes to pay withheld child support
Boone Co. firms turn in letters
Company faulted in sludge spill
Doctor's plea: common sense
Firefighters join to hold benefit
Kentucky News Briefs
Ky. researchers share $3.8M in grants
'Megan's Law' attacked as excessive
Skate park gaining support