Friday, October 08, 2010

Taser Demonstration

Below is the YouTube video of a taser demonstration that I volunteered for in August. Sheriff Rex Coffey will be presenting safety in our schools at the October board meeting.


Kim Campbell said...

I read about this in the independent. You were very brave, and I think proved a valid point to those who were against tazers in the schools.

LegalBeaglette said...

Ms. Campbell, what was that “valid point?” Please note that Ms. Abell was Tased in a controlled environment, with people supporting her fall to the floor, and wearing safety glasses. She volunteered, and had no known health issues that caused the sheriff’s office to hesitate about agreeing to Tase her. (I do wonder whether it asked, though. Did it, Ms. Abell?)

Sheriff Coffey stated the sheriff’s office sees the Taser as a tool to be used to avert the use of force in “many situations” and “to keep our officers out of harm’s way.” Ms. Abell was more precise, referring to the use of Tasers as an alternative to the use of “deadly force” and to be used only by “trained officers.”

Is that CCPS policy? Should it be?

Personal opinion: Tasing IS an extreme measure. Hitting and punching students are extreme measures, too. Tackling students is an extreme measure. Are there scenarios in which any of these measures might be warranted? Yes. But (and I am sorry to repeat myself) what behavior warrants any of these extreme measures?

In any crisis encounter -- anywhere -- the “tool” used to diffuse a situation is decided by the circumstances.

Which brings me to my point: I am aware of no CCPS policy on the use of Tasers in the schools, and I am concerned about Tasers becoming a default means of control in the school setting – because they are easy to use, and do not require the skill or patience of other measures. The “toolbox” needs to include everything, and the first tool out of it should not automatically be a law enforcement officer using a Taser.

Jennifer Abell said...

Sorry for the confusion, I don't think I made myself very clear. The officers are under the employment of the Charles County Sheriff's Office and therefore abide by the rules and policies set forth by the sheriff. The taser is an issued part of the officers attire. CCPS cannot dictate a police officers uniform or equipment. CCPS does not have a policy on the use of tasers in the school system because school employees are NOT issued or have permission to use tasers.