By PoliceOne Staff
CAMDEN, N.J. — Police in Camden used a TASER for the first time to take down a mentally ill woman threatening officers with a knife.
The Courier-Post reports five officers entered the home June 2 after receiving calls about a mentally disturbed woman standing outside a house with a knife.
Officers discovered the woman hiding behind a closed shower curtain in a bathroom as they were clearing each room.
The woman – who suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia – hissed at police and struck one of the officer’s tactical shields with the foot-long blade.
Sgt. John Martinez – a 21-year-veteran – deployed the TASER after ordering the woman to drop the knife.
Martinez credits the department’s newly-acquired TASERs for preventing the use of deadly force that would have been justified.
Camden police began carrying the devices in early May.
"It makes me feel better knowing that I don't have to go from zero to 60 and take somebody's life if I have an alternative means," Sgt. Martinez told the Courier-Post.
New Jersey authorized the use of TASERs for law enforcement in 2011, according to the report.
None of the officers were hurt in the incident. The woman was arrested and charges are pending based on a mental health evaluation.