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Midland Police Department

Midland Police Department   Law Enforcement Center  2727 Rodd St. Midland, MI 48640  Phone: 989-631-5716  
Email: citypolice@midland-mi.org

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Tasers

In the past, the officers of the Midland Police Department have had their hands, pepper spray, and firearms to work with when dealing with aggressive people, but new technology allows officers to stop people in their tracks in a way that does not have long-team health effects. Midland has joined the ranks of over 10,000 law enforcement agencies in 40 countries that currently use Tasers.

The department began using Tasers in September of 2006. The Taser has been extensively tested to ensure that it is safe and does not cause long-term health effects. The company that produces Tasers has tested them on more than 100,000 human volunteers. There has been no evidence of heart or breathing problems, or any long-lasting effects from the use of the Taser.

How The Taser Works: The Taser uses 50,000 volts of electricity to affect the sensory nervous and motor nervous systems of the body. It causes pain and incapacitates the muscles for a short time. While 50,000 volts sounds like a lot, it actually represents just the amount of energy it takes to drive the energy from the gun into the body. Once the energy enters the body, the amount of electricity drops significantly - down to about 1,200 volts, or 0.0021 amps. This is compared to a Christmas tree bulb at 1.0 amp or a wall socket at 16.0 amps. To further illustrate this, the Taser delivers about 800 times less electricity to the body than an external cardiac defibrillator. These devices are used to save lives, and they deliver a lot more electricity compared with the Taser.

Taser International has documented over 100,000 field uses of the equipment. These studies have shown the Taser to be 99% effective in incapacitating subjects and stopping their violent behavior. In 2003, Taser International compiled information from police departments in five larger-sized cities around the country. The use of Tasers in these departments showed that officer injuries decreased as much as 80%, and suspect injuries went down as much as 80%. Also, the officer's use of lethal force went down as much as 78%, and complaints against officers for excessive use of force decreased by as much as 50%. What does this all mean? That police are able to handle violent persons with less physical risk to themselves and the subject.