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Taser Portland or Demo 2003

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Reporter Learns Firsthand Of Taser's Power, Pain
Joel Iwanaga, KOIN 6 News
March 3, 2003

PORTLAND, OR -- Shoot to kill may soon change to shoot to stop.
On Monday, Portland's police chief will hear the results of a ADVANCED TASER pilot program.
Last week, the Multnomah County sheriff introduced TASER
guns into his arsenal. Reporter Joel Iwanaga learned firsthand
what it's like to be stunned by the electric-shock weapon.
If you're the intended target, watch out. TASERs, which shoot
50,000 volts of electricity, are the latest painful, yet non-lethal,
weapon carried by some Multnomah County sheriff's deputies.
"And it's another tool for us to use on the streets, whether it's
someone who wants to fight us or suicidal," Deputy Ryan
Burkeen said.
Portland police have been using these electrical shock
weapons since last year. A woman described as distraught and suicidal was shot by the
ADVANCED TASER in her St. Johns home.
"The best option for us is to do less-than lethal to control individuals who are out of control," Lt.
Michael Shults said.
Here's how the ADVANCED TASER works. It uses two metal darts connected by a wire. When
fired, it delivers the painful electrical voltage through the person's clothing and disrupts the
brain's ability to control the body for 5 seconds.
Sgt. Robert Robinson demonstrated.
"Stinging, burning, and you can feel the electricity going through you," he explained.
Officers like the guns because they're easy to carry, useable at a distance, and capable of
immobilizing a person without causing permanent injury.
Curiosity got the best of this reporter. I had to try the powerful electrical shock for myself.
Deputies taped the two probes to my body then flanked me for the charge. And yes, it hurt!
Deputies are required to take a 10-hour training course before carrying a ADVANCED TASER.
Other local agencies, such as the Sandy Police Department, also use the guns.