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Taser Arpaio Orders Tasers Maricopa Co 2006

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Maricopa County Sheritrs Office
Joe Arpaio, Sheriff






Date: May 23, 2006

(Phoellix, AZ) In what is likely to be a controversial move, Maricopa County Sheriff
Joe Arpaio today will announce his decision to have approximately 1900 detention
officers working in the third largest jail system in the United States armed
with TASER brand devices, electronic stun weapons that are gaining popularity in
U.S. law enforcement circles as excellent tools to gain control of combative
individuals by means of a less lethal jolt of electricity.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he has decided to purchase the technology from the
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have a total of 1168 TASER X26s. man) of which will also be equipped with a
camera attachment to record the circumstances of each and every deployment of the





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Training for detention officers is currently underway to include instruction on proper
deployment, policy, procedure and weapons retention.
"You cannot put a price on officer and inmate safety," says Arpaio. "We must do all
we can within reason to keep our employees and inmates safe from harm. TASERS
for our detention officers will go a long way toward that goal."
According to the Sheriff, 865 det.elltic~ officers have been aLi:3cked by inmates since
2000. Additionally there have been 2765 inmate-on-inmate assaults in that same time
pcricd. ',vhile outbleaks ofviu;el.ct: are ai .vay::) a CUIl\,;cm, it IS exacerbated by an
increase in jailhouse population - up 28% in the last six years. The inmate population
recently hit an all time high of 10,715 men, women and juveniles.

100 West Washington, Suite 1900, Phoenix, Arizona 85003
Phone: (602) 876·1801 Fax: (602) 258·2081
Contact: On Call MRO (602) 238-8097


"Today we also have over 250 closed custody inmates," says Sheriff Arpaio. "They
are me most violent inmates who require a minimum of two officers just too safely

move them from their jail cells. We're also transporting over 700 inmates a day from
jail to court, many of whom are dangerous, violent escape risks. My officers need
every tool available to maintain public safety," Arpaio added.
Arpaio admits that TASER has been widely criticized in the national media, but is
quick to add that much of it is unfair.
While lhe Maricopa County Sheriffs Office will be the first jail system in rhe United
States to issue TASERS to all trained detention officers, Arpaio says he is confident
that the product will prove to be a safe means of inmate control. He points to the fact
that the Scottsdale company has won every wrongful death suit brought against it in
courtrooms around the country.

Rick Smith, CEO ofTASER International Inc., says, "Having toured these jails
myself, I can speak first hand about the need for our TASER technology in this jail
system. Sheriff Arpaio's cutting edge decision to issue TASERS and TASER cams to
his detention staff will not only enhance security for everyone there, it will also
provide an effective system of accountability regarding deployment."
Arpaio adds that that while more officers with TASERS may mean more acrnal uses
of the device. the mere idta of being stung by a TASER usually is enough to thwan
violent behavior by inmates.
"That laser sight in the middle of an inmate's chest has a way of quickly calming a
person down. Deterring impending violence in jail is a wonderful thing when it
works," Arpaio says.
The policy change and announcement of the purchase of the new TASER technology
will be made on Tuesday, May 23, 2006 at 2:30PM at the Sheriff Training Academy,
2627 South 35 the Avenue, during an actual detention weapons training class. Sheriff
Arpaio and TASER International CEO Rick Smith will be present to discuss the
weapons deployment with interested media at that time. Page the on call Media
Relations Officer for more information at 602 238 8097.

100 West Washington, Suite 1900, Phoenix, Arizona 85003
Phone: (602) 876·1801 Fax: (602) 258·2081
Contact: On Call MRO (602) 238-8097