New TASER X2: A preloaded backup shot
The reload may not be done quickly under stress, which is why the X2 has that second shot preloaded, among other features
When officers deployed a TASER on an unruly fan at a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game last week, the man just stood there, unaffected. He was wearing a thick, puffy jacket and, as it turns out, one of the probes did not fully connect. You could hear the current, but the man was unfazed, and still refusing to obey orders.
That’s when the officers moved to the next level of force, striking the man several times with a baton. The video landed on YouTube almost immediately and the following day’s headlines read something like: “Police hit baseball fan with TASER, beat him with baton.”
Backup TASER Shot
It’s possible the baton strikes could have been avoided if the officers were armed with the TASER X2, the latest release from the ECD manufacturer.
The X2 is not a major departure from the brand’s flagship X26 model; it is an attempt to accent and improve upon the device’s strongest qualities. In doing so, it aims to make the lives of cops and civilians safer.
The most notable feature on the X2 is the addition of a second, preloaded strike. So, when the officers at the Pittsburgh baseball game noticed that the circuit was not complete due to the man’s jacket, they could have quickly deployed another shot to the man’s lower body, sending him safely to the floor with their batons securely fastened to their duty belt.
It would have been quick, easy, and a lot less entertaining for YouTube viewers.
TASER could have jam-packed the X2 with every bell and whistle imaginable, but they decided instead to take things in a more practical direction.
“The main thrust was to get the voice of the customer,” said Steve Tuttle, VP of Communications. “The number-one thing they wanted was a backup shot. We got direct feedback from command staffs, unions, everyone.”
Rather than pile on the features, they aimed to address only the top handful of needs, as directed by officers around the country. Here they are:
Backup shot: TASERs are 94.5 percent effective, which is great, but it’s not a magic bullet. To address that other 5.5 percent (like at the baseball game above), they added a second, preloaded shot, which can be deployed instantly. When you add those two deployments together, you’re now approaching a 97 percent success rate with the TASER. That decreases the need to escalate force to the use of pepper spray, baton, firearm, etc.
Dual lasers: In the past, the laser could only aim one of the probes. With two lasers on this new product, it takes the guesswork out of aiming. So if your subject is wearing a puffy jacket, and you want to hit his legs with the second shot, your chances are significantly improved.
Trilogy logs: The enhanced data port measures every individual pulse from the TASER (19 pulses per second) and can tell whether or not it hit a human target. This could help justify the need for a second deployment and also increase officer accountability.
Performance power magazines: The new model provides more than 500 shots, which is an improvement on past models.
Weather proof: The X2 has a greater resistance to rain, humidity, and other elements.
Self diagnostics: The device knows if it is healthy or if it has a problem.
Warning ARC: Prevents conflict from escalating.
Adding the backup shot to the X2 was the clear priority. In the past, officers would have to manually reload that second shot, which can be difficult.
“When under stress, the reload may not be done quickly,” Tuttle said. “This way you can engage as quickly as possible with that second deployment.”
TASER managed to add the backup shot without dramatically increasing the size or complexity of the device. The X2 is only two ounces heavier than the classic X26.
TASER has put more than six years of research and development into the X2 and will begin taking orders immediately. More information can be found at a special website TASER created for the X2.