Skip navigation

Taser Article Ia State Student Govt Supports Tasers 2001

Download original document:
Brief thumbnail
This text is machine-read, and may contain errors. Check the original document to verify accuracy.
U·WI ••



Iowa State U. student government supports Tasers
By Nicole Paseka
Iowa State Daily (Iowa State U.)

(U-WIRE) AMES, Iowa -- After a heated debate, the Iowa State University Government of the Student
Body voted 30-2 Wednesday night in favor of a resolution endorsing the use of tasers by the Department
of Public Safety.
"DPS is the most highly trained police force in the state, yet they are almost completely defenseless
against violent aggressors," Vice President Charlie Johnson said. "It is ludicrous to require a group to
protect the public, hold them accountable to do so and, in the same right, utterly impede their ability to
effectively and safely discharge their duties. You cannot confront violent crime with flowers or batons or
pepper spray. We must have more."
DPS Capt. Gene Deisinger presented a program to the senate about the benefits tasers would provide to
DPS officers and the ISU community. Tasers would be used only when a suspect has left a DPS officer
with no other option, he said.
"We have a very restrictive use of force policy," Deisinger said. "Our officers are very skilled in verbal
de-escalation. We have a heightened level of that because our officers are not armed. This is a very safe
community, and we are committed to keeping it that way."
Deisinger, who has been shot by the taser during training exercises, said the nonlethal devices would be
issued only to state-certified law enforcement officials who have gone through extensive training.
He described being shot by the taser as an intense experience -- but with no lasting effects. The marks
where the taser darts struck his back "felt like a minor sunburn," Deisinger said.
Andy Walling, RCA, said there should be little debate in the senate about the question of tasers.
"We are one of three universities nationwide that do not arm our officers with firearms, and we're arguing
over tasers," Walling said.
The University of Iowa and the University of Delaware are the only comparably sized universities in the
nation besides Iowa State that do not provide their peace officers with firearms, Walling said.
Several senators were opposed to the prospect of arming DPS officers with tasers.
"To me, it just doesn't seem necessary to have these," said Lucas Howell, off-campus. "Intellect is our
biggest ally."
He fears people could be harmed by the taser device, and DPS officers should try to use other methods to
gain control of difficult situations.
"It is a slap in the face to the men and women of DPS who are expected to put themselves in peril to keep
you safe if you fail to give them the same trust that you yourself expect from students," Johnson said. "It is
time that the students of Iowa State stand alongside their police force instead of opposing them."