05/10/2012

Mass. voters to decide on police TASERs

Area chiefs divided on benefits

By Bill Fortier
Telegram & Gazette

UPTON, Mass. — Voters at the annual town meeting tomorrow night will be voting to spend money on a weapon that some police chiefs think has come a long way from its early days, when it was considered to be a glorified cattle prod.

Voters are being asked to spend $15,000 for 12 electronic control devices, known to most as Tasers, which temporarily incapacitate a person. The electric shock they deliver disrupts a person's voluntary muscle control.

The Taser shoots out two prongs, or probes, from a distance of up to 20 feet, and police chiefs whose departments use them say they give their officers another way to handle a potentially dangerous situation without using a baton or a gun.

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