Skip navigation

Taser Mira Costa Univ Deploys 2001

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

I'" Diogo
M.l AtIt


21. 2001

Sturi-gun decision receives backing
• MiraCosta vice president
takes 50,000 volts to show
support for campus police
decision to wield new weapon

OCEANSIDE - A [Op l\1iraCosra College
administrator put his body on the line Friday (Q show his support for the campus p0lice's decision to carry Stun guns.
Vice Presidem of Student Services Dick
Robertson, who pushed to arm campus p0lice with the guns last spring. was srunned
and temporarily paralyzed Friday evening
with the high-voltage weapon. He was mak-

ing good on a promise to officers that he
would be the first to volunteer to be shot
with the gun.
All 10 campus police officers were re-

quired to undergo stunning several weeks
ago as pan of a mJ.ining program.
"I want them to know I wouldn't wish on
them anything I wouldn't do myself,"
Robertson, 58, said before he was srunned.

Robertson's department oversees the campus police force. "TIus way I will literally be
able to say, 'I feel your pain.' "
)- STUN, 8-2


MI..costa College _
PresIde01t DIck R-.·
son Is IleIped by MlraCosta Ponce Chief Robert
Norcross and Officer Kevin segaua after he
was zapped wtth a stun gun on Friday. Robert·
son volunteered to be stunned to show his sup.
port of the campus police, who began carrylne
stun guns last month.

>- STUN
ConUnutd fl"Olll B-1

The weapons
look and
feel similar
to handguns
Police started carrying the
weapons, which shoot 50,000
\'Olts of eleariciry and immo-

bilize a persoll for SE:\1!ml sec·
onds, about a month ago, said
campus Police Chief Raben
Norcross. The squad originally
wumed to carry handguns,

but the college's board of
trustees vetoed the idea after
a heated debate and approved
Ute st\m guns instead.
TIle weapons look and feel

similar to handguns. To use
the gun, an officer points it at
and shoots a suspect from up
to Z1 feel away. When the nigger is pulled, two tiny needle-

like probes shool out. When
the probes hit their target,
electricity stuns the person

for about 4S seconds -


enough for officers to hand·
cuff him.

80th Norcross and a
spokesman for TASE/lnc.,
the company thaI rna es the
weapons, said the shock is
safe and has no lingering effects, except for a slig,ht bum

on the skin where the probes
"It's nOi fun and ii's nOI a
toy .. ii's meanl 10 put a violenl person on the ground
long enough to apprehend
spokesman Steve Thttle. "But
it is safe, and I commend this
~y Robertson for being willLng to take a little diswmfort
to show people that."
Campus police Officer
Roger Randall said he reo
spectS any administrator who
would get "down in the
trenches" with his troops.
"That's the mark of a good
leader," said Randall, who has
been on the force aboul 10

Robertson was stunned

with the gun in front of eight
officers and a few spectatOrs
- including his wife, Pat - at
the campus Police Depart·
ment on Friday evening.
Standing in khakis, a blue
~firaCostaT-shirt, argyle socks
and moccasins, Robertson
looked more like a goofy
grandfather than a hardened
criminal. Officers anned him
wilb a robber knife to make
the scenario more realisric.
"Let'S gel this over with,"
he said as he handed his wife
his glasses Robertson said he
is healthy, with no heart con·
ditions. He had not checked
with his physician before the
stunning, he said. Thule and
Norcross said the shock is so
small that a person's age,and
health should not affecl their
reaction to the stun gun.
Inslead of shooting the
probes at Robenson, officers
anached them to Robertson's
shirt and activated the highvoltage TASER. Officers

would normally shock a larget
for about five seconds; they
shocked Robertson for only
one second.
II was enough fO make
Robertson collapse and then
moan in pain.
"jeepers, oh man ... Ihal
hurt," he said as officers
helped him to his fool. "That
definitely would StOP me if I
was a criminal.·'
Robertson's reaction was a
common one, l\mle said. Pet>
pie shol with Ihe weapon
sometimes stiffen and freeze,
others collapse, he said. Some
scream, he said.
Less than 10 seconds after
the shock, Robertson was on
his foot and coherent again.

"That's one of Ihe advan·
lages over batons or pepper
spray," Norcross said. "You in·
capacitate a person without
lasting injury. Had r hit rum
with something to stop him
from coming at me, he could
have a broken bone."
Campus officers now caJl)'
the stun guns, nunchakus,
pepper spray and handcuffs.
Mosl officers snll would suppori carrying fireanns, NorQ'OSS


"These aren't a replace.
ment for handguns, but Ihe
board has said guns are nOI an

option," he said. "nus is the
next best thing."
COf1taCt staff...mer EriIl 'Nals/l at
(760) 901-4090 or