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Taser La County Sheriffs Deploy 2001

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Sheriff's training officer Sam Sdehnel lires an M-2e Taser gun into a target. The weapon shoots a dart in a suspect.

The shock treatment
Sheriff adds new electric-dart-fIring Tasers to arsenal
By Holly

The Santa
Clarita station
already has
about a dozen



PALMDALE - Confronted with n 14.
year-old girl threatening to kill herself
and slash her mother with a butcher
knife, Palmdale sheriffs deputies swiftly
deployed a new tactical weapon.
It was the electrically charged 1'A~er
gun a<:quired by the Los Angeles County
Sheriffs Department that instantly
brings the most out-of-control SUSpeclS to
tbe ground. It is being deployed countywide, including in tile Sanla Clarita
The May 17 in\:ldent occurred in a
Palmdale mobile home park, and illustrated how effective the new M-26 Tasers
can be, said Deputy Bl')'an Riley, traming
deputy at the Palmdale shenffs station.
"Theft aft no long-term mjuries and it
stops people 10 theIr tracks, MRiley saId.
MWith tbe old Tlser, someone fO\:used or
mentally disturbed could continue their
assaull. Witb the ""·26, Ihey drop
The weapon shools a din inlo the
combative suspee;t and an electrical
cllarse IS sent from the Taser to the dan,
explained Sgt. Mike McDermoll of the
sheriffs beadQuaners bureau, one of the



offICialS who have volun-

teered to be shocked by the device.
MTake the shock you get when you
toucb an e1eclrical socket, mcrease It
many limes, and lmaJine that bcmg sent
Ibrougboul your body, ~ McDermott said.

of the new
Tasars and is

expected to

receive about
a dozen more.


nearly 300 of
the weapons
will be
deployed al a
cost 01 about

offidals said.

"It's a vel')' intense. extftme shock 10
yom system. M
Countywide, nearly 300 of the weapons will be depI.oyed at a 00IiI of about
S 120,000, sheriffs officials said.
~Evcntually well bave one in evel')'
patrol car,M said Sgt. Jim Morrow. who
oversees naming at Ibe Santa Oarita station. Min the past, we only bad two of the
old Tasc:rs on hand, and thet'e 'A-U always
I hme lag between when we asked for tbe
Taser and wben we got it. The new onu
will be readily available.Not only does the new Tasa do a betItt job of incapacitatmg a combati~'e susp«:t, MolTOw said, It also has a 21-fool
range - six fed 1oD8Cf Iban the range of

the old Tascr _ which creates a largff
safety cushion for the deputy wielding
The Twrs will primarily be used on
assaultive suspects
aft not armed, be
said. adding thai deputies will use bean
bas sboIguns or rubber-pellet IUDS to deal
witb suspects armed with I knife or gun.
The Palmdale station was among the
firsl to aeqUH'C tbe M-26s last year in a
Sheriffs Depattment pilot project. "'hile
the Santa Clarita and Lancaster swlK>ns
Just rc«otly obtamed their firsl5uppl.y of
the weapons.


see TASER I Page 3

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The deputy winced in pain and was
unable to control his muscles after being
shot. Fortunately. it was all part of a calcu·
lated demonstration at a press conference
announcing the counry·wide deployment
of the Advanced Ta.ser conducted energy
de·lice. Camera crews recorded the event
and the deputy who had volunteered to be
show by the taser was not injured by the
less-lethal device.
As part of a continued commitment to
protect the residents of Los Angeles
County. Assistant Sheriff Larry Waldie, on
behalf of Sheriff Lee Baca, announced the
deployment of more than 290 of these conducted energy devices. The M·26 Advanced
Taser is designed to transmit electric pulses
which temporarily disrupt the body's central nervous system. The device will aid
deputies in handling and apprehending
assaultive high-risk suspects. The taser has
been deployed at all Sheriff's stations and
custody facilities and can now be carried by
trained deputies. In the past, tasers were

only carried by supervisors.
The new design of this device has many
improvements over the original energy
technology introduced in the early 198Os.
The device is now shaped like a handgun.
This physical redesign takes advantage of
muscle memory functions of traditional
handgun training. its built-in laser sight
and a 21-foot range will improve accurqcy
and increase the· number of situations
where it can be safely used. The increased
power to 26 watts will cause electro·muscular disruption. It is designed well within
electrical safety standards and has
advanced weapon tracking technologies
that record the time and date of each firing.
Most importantly. with more than 20 years
of field use, there has never been a death
attributed directly to taser technology,
making it an effective less-lethal device.
"Any effective less-lethal tool we can give
our deputies reduces the possibility of a
deadly confrontation," said Assistant
Sheriff Waldie.

Sheriff's Introduces New Stun Devices
• It has a pon that records dala each time it's fired:

MONTEREY PARK - A veteran Los Angeles
County sheriffs lieutenanl allowed himself to be upped
by a speCial new taser May 24 - one that has advantages over the model that is in use.
hies not somelhing you really like fo do every day. bul
it"s lmponant 10 demonstrate It:' said Lt. Mike
McDennott. 51. who has only been shocked bnce before
by the device during a training session.
"The M-26 Advanced TjSer' has several 3Jvalllages
over the one that is now in use. said Deputy Darren
Harris. Among lhose 3dvant3ges. he said. are:

• It automatically shulS off after five seconds. and has
an override bunon Ihal can shu. il off sooner;
• II has a 2I-fOOl cord. about Silt feel longer than the
• II has an 18-26 wat! range compared 10 the presenl
7-14 watt range; and
• II is powered by compressed nitrogen rather than
black powder. so is not classified as a flfCaIm.
The device, which looks like a handgun. t.ransmits
electric impulses to shock and temporarily disable a
"combative. high-risk- suspect.

Deputies deploy
newest Tasers
TASER I From Page 1
The Santa Clarita station has
about a dozen M-26s in stock
and is slated to get a dozen
more in July, said Morrow. The
Palmdale station has nine
M-26s in stock and is expected
to get si.'t more, while the Lancaster station is earmarked to
receive 16 new Tasers, officials
said. While the Santa Clarita
station recorded fewer arrests

and use-of-force incidents during the last two years than the
Palmdale and Lancaster stations, it is slated to receive
more Tasers than the Antelope
Valley stations.
Sherirrs officials explained
that they base deployment of
the Tasers at each station on
the total number of patrol cars
on duty during the hours of
peak service, which is typically
Saturday night.