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Taser Uni Public Safety Makes Pitch 2001

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Waterloo, IA
Mit An.




23, 2001

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UNI public safety head makes
pitch for stun guns on campus
• Zarifis says his
officers need
protection of tasers.
Courier Staff Writer

CE'n~~F'~tt.lfs "
Dave Zarifis believes his cam·
pus police officers should be car·
rying more than pepper spray
and collapsible batons, and he's
hoping to convince others the
M·26 laser, the latest·model stun
gun, is the answer.
On Monday, Zarifis, the
University of Northern Iowa's
director of public safety, spoke
with the UN! faculty senate to
gain its support in arming his
force with the lasers. He fears
sending officers into potentially
violent situations without the
proper means to protect them·

"If I can't protect those who
are designated to protect' you,
then we have a problem," Zarifis
While the faculty senate won't
be involved in the fmal decision,
he hopes the presentations
could help the members vote to
support the tasers, a decision
eventually up to the slate Board
of Regents and University

President Robert Koob.
"These are people who could
The faculty senate vote on leave my department and work
whether to support purchasing for the Cedar Falls or Waterloo
meet· police departmenis without any
. tasers at next month's
Today's laser looks and works
Campus officers now carry
much different than the stun pepper spray and collapsible
guns introduced nearly a gener· batons. In a potentially danger·
ation ago. The M·26 taser Zarifis ous situation they call the Cedar
showed the group looks like a Falls police and stand by until
handgun and would be worn as officers arrive.
one. It shoots a cube-shaped car·
"We can't be sure of the
tridge up to 21 feet that disables response we can get from the
the target.
CFPD," Zarifis said. "On busy
Faculty senate member nights they have to prioritize."
Katherine van Wormer, a pro- . Faculty senate member Tom
fessor in the university's Romanin said he's seen an
Department of Social Work, .increase in aggressive behavior
isn't too keen on the lasers.
on campus over the years.
"Dave spoke here years ago
"Several years ago I would
about having lethal weapons have been less inclined to move
and (showed us guns)," van this way," he said of obtaining
Wormer said. "I see this as a the stun guns. "But there's more
stepping stone to get lethal aggressive behavior being dealt
weapons, to get weapons they with by the Cedar Falls Police
don't need."
There arc 18 officers on the
Van Wormer disagreed.
campus' safety forCe. Zarifis
"There is no proof that the
said each taser costs around crhne rate is going up," she said.
$400 and each cartridge about "Expense is another question,
$18. But zariflS said if people with all the budget cuts."
expect protection from the safe·
But ZariflS wants his officers
ty force, the officers need the to be able to defend themselves
tasers. He emphasized person· should a bad situation arise.
nel would be thoroughly trained
"If you send someone into
in how and when to use them.
harm's way constantly, some·
"These are fully certified time they're going to get
peace officers," Zarifis said. harmed," he said.