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Monitor your habits

A good friend of mind recently responded to a call involving an emotionally disturbed person who was hoping to commit "suicide by cop." When the officer arrived on the scene of the disturbance, the suspect kept his hands in his pockets (it was later discovered he was holding a pen), screaming "Shoot me officer shoot me!" As the situation escalated, the officer used his TASER for the first time in a picture-perfect deployment: no one was hurt and the suspect was transported to a mental hospital.

As we were discussing the incident, my friend brought up an interesting training point. His agency does no repetition training with the TASER, but every morning as he is preparing for his shift he "spark checks" his TASER -- removing the cartridge, flipping up the safety, depressing the trigger, and checking the functionality and the charge of the TASER. As his agency requires, he must reach up with his off hand during the spark check and push the safety back down, shutting down the TASER before it cycles through to help save the battery. This is the only "repetition" he does with his TASER, and he does it faithfully. Therefore, when he deployed his TASER in the field, he found himself reaching up with his off hand to shut down the TASER, just as he does every morning during his spark check. Fortunately, he quickly realized what he was doing and was able to correct himself and continue on with the incident, resolving it safely and tactically.

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