TASER tactics and training injuries
by PoliceOne.com Columnist Greg Meyer
This month I’ll cover several TASER topics based on some recent research and experiences in court and administrative hearings.
When you’re in tight with your suspect, the pushes and shoves start, and you don’t break contact, consider using the “3-point contact.” Leave the cartridge in your TASER and fire it at contact range just like a drive-stun. Then, with one or both darts deployed on the person, move the TASER device away from the darts and drive-stun the person on another part of the body. A few inches would work, but a couple of feet between the darts and the drive-stun would be more effective.
It is vitally important that you understand and rehearse in dynamic training scenarios the need to have considerable distance between yourself and the suspect when you use the TASER in dart-mode. Case after case of what officers report as a TASER “failure” are in reality either a “miss” with one or both darts, or the officer’s failure to deploy the TASER at sufficient distance to achieve a dart spread that will incapacitate the suspect.
I would have thought by now that we would all know that you DO NOT fire a TASER device at a person who has poured gasoline on himself! This really ought to be a total no-brainer. There have been a number of such incidents around the country over the years, and they are totally avoidable with a little common sense.
Occasionally there is litigation over claims of TASER-related training injuries. Along with a prominent orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles, I am involved in a study of training injuries to recruit officers during their training at the Los Angeles Police Academy. We are in the preliminary stages, and hope to have an article published by the end of this year. Our goals are to document the type and frequency of the injuries and what type of training they came from — and to suggest possible injury-reduction protocols that will prevent some injuries while preserving the need for aggressive training.
Finally, I'd like to suggest some “must see” seminars.
The sudden in-custody death problem has been with us for a long time, and these incidents will continue to occur regardless of what police tool or tactic is used. The Institute for Prevention of In-Custody Death is presenting its second annual three-day seminar this November in Las Vegas. You can get details and enrollment forms at www.ipicd.com.
Another important seminar is entitled, “Legal, Psychological, and Bio-Mechanical Aspects of Officer Involved Lethal and Less-Lethal Force,” presented by Americans for Effective Law Enforcement. The popularity of this seminar has resulted in it being presented twice a year instead of once. The seminar will be presented in November in Las Vegas, and in March in San Francisco. Details can be found at www.aele.org Until next time ... stay very safe!
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